Since being taken in the eighth round of the 2021 draft, Tyler Collins has been a player of intrigue for those keeping an eye on the Braves farm system. The speed and athleticism have always been there; however, the offensive profile has been a question mark. Unfortunately, we still have yet to see a breakthrough from Collins on that front. As a soon-to-be 21-year-old at Low-A, Collins is going to have to find his stride at the plate soon or be left behind.
How he was acquired
As mentioned above, Collins was taken in the eighth round of the 2021 draft, signing with the Braves for a bonus above slot value after attending McKinney Boyd High School in Texas.
Preseason Report Card
Collins made our preseason top prospects list as an honorable mention. Despite only getting 16 total PAs in 2022, we gave Collins the benefit of the doubt due to his age and aforementioned athleticism, hoping that would be enough – if healthy – to overcome some of the offensive woes. However, things didn’t get better for Collins at the plate in 2023. In fact, they got worse.
What we saw in 2023
Coming into 2023, Collins needed to show that he had made some substantial progress offensively. But, that simply didn’t happen. Across 344 plate appearances for the Augusta GreenJackets, Collins notched just 60 hits and 38 walks with no home runs, 14 doubles, a triple and 46 RBI. He posted a measly .544 OPS altogether on the season. A 61 wRC+ is ugly, but that’s all he managed on the year.
One bright spot is that Collins stole 33 bases while playing above-average defense in the outfield.
The coming year is going to be crucial for Collins if he wants to continue his pursuit of the majors. The speed and defense aren’t question marks at all for the 20-year-old. But, he is going to have to put up much better numbers than the sub-.550 OPS he posted at Low-A last year. Collins clearly is athletic and has the ability to affect the game with his legs, but whether or not he will channel his physical gifts into production remains the question. As of right now, Collins projects primarily as a fourth outfielder at best. But, if he doesn’t show that he can hit even low minors pitching, he’s going to be in trouble in a hurry and if he’s not careful, he could find the Braves giving up on him as anything beyond organizational depth in the near future.