2024 MLB Futures Game And Skills Showcase Features Nine MLBbros Led By James Wood, Cam Collier And Chandler Simpson

2024 MLB Futures Game And Skills Showcase Features Nine MLBbros Led By James Wood, Cam Collier And Chandler Simpson

The 2024 MLB All-Star Game will take place on July 16th at Globe Life Field which is home to the defending World Series champion Texas Rangers.

 

While the game is sure to provide fans with plenty of fireworks, it’s all highly plausible that the Futures Game which will take place on Saturday July 13th will do the same. The beauty of this year’s game and skills showcase is there will be nine MLBbros either playing in the game or participating in the skills showcase.

 

That group is led by Washington Nationals outfielder James Wood who’s batting .276 with one homer, six RBI and six walks drawn in his first eight games and 29 major league at-bats. Wood is the Nationals No.1 ranked prospect and MLB Pipeline’s No.2 ranked prospect.

 

 

He’ll be joined on the National League squad by Cincinnati Reds No.3 ranked prospect Cam Collier who’s hit 13 homers to go with 48 RBI. He’s also drawn 31 walks this season with High-A Dayton.

 

Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall spoke about Collier, one of his prized prospects.

 

“When you sign as a young player, you first have to learn what it’s like to be a professional, what it’s like to live on your own and how to do a lot of things. I think he’s working himself through it and has done a pretty solid job. He’s shown the ability to play third base. He’s got some power in a tough hitters’ park.”

 

“Nah I’m No Prodigy” | Cincinnati Reds Prospect Cam Collier Is All About Hardwork

 

Crawford Brings The Speed, Johnson Supplies Steadiness And Hence Has Ace Potential

 

Rounding out the National League MLBbros is speedster Justin Crawford. Across three minor league season, the Philadelphia Phillies outfielder is hitting above .300 and has 120 stolen bases. The son of MLBbro Carl Crawford has many of the tools his father possessed and will eventually hit for more power.

 

Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Termarr Johnson is the club’s No.2 prospect and it’s all about his bat and steadiness at the plate, in three minor league seasons he’s hit 28 homers and drove in 101 runs.

 

His plate discipline is second-to-none as he’s also drawn 178 walks over that time as well.

 

“I Want To Play Baseball As Long As They Let Me” | Pittsburgh Pirates No.2 Prospect Termarr Johnson Named Club’s Minor League Player Of The Year

 

St. Louis Cardinals top prospect Tink Hence is the lone pitching prospect and he’s a good one. The flamethrower who sports a 3.29 ERA and is likely to be called up at some point this season will take the mound in his second Futures Game after pitching a solid scoreless inning the 2023 event.

 

Pitcher Tink Hence Is Patiently Waiting To Explode Into St. Louis Cardinals MLBbro Youth Movement

 

Rays Everywhere

 

The American League squad features two Tampa Bay Rays prospects in minor league steals leader Chandler Simpson who has 58 thefts this season after leading the minors with 94 last season. That number tied with good friend and fellow MLBbro Victor Scott II of the Cardinals who also had 94 last season.

‘Why Are We Picking a First Baseman In The First Round?’ | Tampa Bay Rays No.3 Prospect Xavier Isaac Takes Pride In Proving Naysayers Wrong

 

Slugger Xavier Isaac is batting .293 with 13 homers and 57 RBI.

 

First baseman Tre Morgan another of the Rays young and promising prospects is participating in the inaugural skills showcase.

 

“He’s Been Outstanding” | Tampa Bay Rays Prospect Tre Morgan Shining With High-A Bowling Green

 

Harry Ford Last But Not Least

 

The supremely talented Ford is the talk of the town in the Pacific Northwest after he was moved from his catcher position into the outfield. Many believe the move is an effort to showcase his versatility as he’s a huge trade piece for Seattle Mariners in a possible deal before the July 30th deadline.

 

“He’s Super Unique” | Seattle Mariners Catcher Harry Ford Is On A Fast Track To Majors

 

In all, 48 of the 54 players who participated in MLB’s Inaugural Spring Breakout event in March will play in Saturday’s game. It also features 39 of the top 100 prospects according to MLB Pipeline.

“Nah I’m No Prodigy” | Cincinnati Reds Prospect Cam Collier Is All About Hardwork

“Nah I’m No Prodigy” | Cincinnati Reds Prospect Cam Collier Is All About Hardwork

When the Cincinnati Reds drafted infielder Cam Collier with the 18th overall pick in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft he was only 17-years-old. Not only did the Reds brass draft him they also gave him a $5 million signing bonus which is well above the $3.6 million slot value for the 18th pick. It’s safe to say that Collier’s pedigree preceded him and that definitely played a role in him receiving such a big bonus.

 

 

The son of former MLB player Lou Collier who played eight seasons with five different franchises has been raised around the game. That along with Collier’s unique skill set was enough for the Reds brass to take the risk of drafting him at 17. Thus far that investment is paying off with Collier batting a respectable (.317) with seven home runs and 73 RBI across stints with Single-A Daytona of the Florida State League, and the High-A Dayton Dragons of the Midwest League.

 

Collier Ready To Continue Climb In 2024

 

Since the pre-draft process in 2022, Collier has shown a propensity to really have it together when it comes to speaking to the media. The well-spoken now 19-year-old has shown time and time again that he’s definitely a straight shooter. During a recent interview at Daytona Air Ballpark, the talented third baseman answered questions about his talent and of course what he’s hoping to accomplish this season and beyond.

 

The Real Cam Collier Stood Up In August And Obliterated Single-A Pitching | Reds No. 18 Pick Is The Real Deal

 

The reporter asked Collier if he considered himself to be a prodigy?

 

Here’s how Collier answered the question.

 

“Prodigy? Nah, I’m no prodigy. I’ve just worked really hard to get here and I’m reaping the benefits of that hard work.”

 

That strong work ethic definitely comes from his dad, the aforementioned Lou Collier who even in retirement has stayed close to the game as a big-league scout, a coach for the U.S. national team and a dedicated coach with various MLB Develops programs. He also started the Lou Collier Association — whose goal is to help and instruct the youth in their baseball journey. That in itself is something Cam has been afforded, and some of the reason why he was such a highly regarded prospect at 17.

 

 

Collier Reclassified Himself To 2022 Draft

 

In an effort to challenge himself as he and his dad have done all his life with him always playing up two years over his age, Collier only spent two years in high school. At the age of 16 he earned his GED and enrolled at Chipola College in Florida. After one season he reclassified and entered the 2022 draft. In the interview Collier mentioned his reasoning for going to college at 16 and then reclassifying to enter the draft a year earlier than expected.

 

“I just wanted to challenge myself and face older guys. I felt it would get me more prepared for professional baseball instead of continuing to play in high school for two more years.”

 

2022 MLB Draft Prospect Cam Collier On Dad Lou Collier’s Guidance: “It’s Easier Going Through The Draft Process Because He Knows How It Goes”

The move seems to have been the right one for the 6–foot-2 and 215 third baseman who at his size has flashed a great glove on the hot corner, and a steadily improving bat at the plate. With his expected call up not until 2026, Collier will continue to work on refining his craft, and with a Double-A call up a possibility this season, Cam will continue to strive for greatness.

MiLB Finest In 2023 | Minor Leaguers Shined This Season, These Five Bros Were Among The Best

MiLB Finest In 2023 | Minor Leaguers Shined This Season, These Five Bros Were Among The Best

The talent pool of up-and-coming MLBbros is as good as it’s been in quite some time, so choosing these five elite diamond miners wasn’t as easy.

 

James Wood, Washington Nationals, OF

 

The 6-foot-6 and 240-pound power hitting prospect ranks No.7 on MLB prospect rankings list. Wood enjoyed a very productive 2023 season with time split between Single-A Wilmington and Double-A Harrisburg.

 

Wood showed he’s much more than a power hitter, as he batted a solid .270 with a .536 slugging percentage and .899 OPS. His 26 homers were expected, but his 28 doubles and eight triples, 91 RBI and 65 walks are indicative of his potential as a pure hitter. A guy with refined hit tools who can also power surge, like St. Louis Cardinals phenom Jordan Walker. 

 

 

 

For his efforts the Nationals No.2 prospect was named the club’s Minor League Hitter of the Year.

Needs Improvement: Woods will need to cut down on the strikeouts (173). That’ll need to change prior to his expected call up sometime in 2024.

 

Termarr Johnson, Pittsburgh Pirates, 2B

 

Johnson was pretty electric during the 2023 season. Starring for Single-A Bradenton and High-A Greensboro, Johnson put together a quality season at the plate batting .244 with 18 homers and 59 RBI.

He also tallied 85 total hits and scored 83 runs. One of Johnson’s best traits is his plate discipline. He was able to draw 101 walks, which boosted his on-base percentage to .421. The Pirates have a budding difference-maker at second base.

 

“I Want To Play Baseball As Long As They Let Me” | Pittsburgh Pirates No.2 Prospect Termarr Johnson Named Club’s Minor League Player Of The Year

 

Johnson’s expected arrival with the Pirates isn’t until 2025, but the anticipation and eagerness around the organization is growing daily. Big things are expected of the former No.4 overall pick. Johnson was named the Pirates Minor League Player of the Year.

 

During an in-season interview a reporter made reference to Johnson bulking up and getting stronger, the 19-year-old phenom responded with this.

 

 “I’m glad you can see it. I don’t know how much it is, but it’s definitely a good bit.”

 

Needs Improvement: Much like Wood, Johnson must clean up the 120 strikeouts he posted.

 

 

Justin Crawford, Philadelphia Phillies, OF

 

Being the son of former MLB player Carl Crawford means the bloodline is there. And in 2023 Justin didn’t disappoint one bit. The budding Phillies outfield prospect showed why he was taken with the 17th pick of the 2022 MLB Draft.

 

The club’s No.3 ranked prospect and MLB’s 77th-ranked prospect batted a remarkable .344 in stops between Single-A Clearwater and High-A Jersey Shore. Crawford also drove in 64 runs and accumulated 47 stolen bases and 32 walks.

 

“What I Most Bring To The Table Is My Speed” | MLB Draft Prospect Justin Crawford Comes From Strong MLB Pedigree

 

Not expected to be called until 2026, Crawford has all the tools to be get an earlier call up to the big leagues. When he was drafted Crawford told reporters this in his introductory interview: “I think I have a high IQ for the game. I take a lot of pride in that and I thank my dad a lot for that.”

 

Needs Improvement: His low homer numbers (3) are not a cause for concern because he swings a good bat and as he matures and gets stronger that number should increase.

 

Victor Scott II, St. Louis Cardinals, CF

 

Scott, the Cardinals No.4 ranked prospect behind the likes of Masyn Winn, Tink Hence and Chase Davis, could be the game’s next great defensive centerfielder.

Victor Scott II spent the 2023 season between High-A Peoria and Double-A Springfield, where he swung a great bat and played elite defense.

A .290 batting average to go along with 166 hits, including 20 doubles and ten triples, 94 stolen bases and 95 runs scored, are numbers that have the Cardinals organization excited.

 

“But Sure Enough, They End Up Falling” | St. Louis Cardinals No.4 Prospect Victor Scott II On A Tear Following 16 At-Bat Hitless Streak

 

Scott is expected up in 2025.

Needs Improvement: His power numbers and plate consistency will increase as he moves up the pipeline.  

 

Cam Collier, Reds, 3B

 

The son of former MLB player Lou Collier looks the part, and the belief is he’ll only get better with time. “Bam Bam” recently turned 19-years-old and had a solid season at Single-A Daytona where he batted a respectable .246 with 68 RBI.

Related: The Real Cam Collier Stood Up In August And Obliterated Single-A Pitching | Reds No. 18 Pick Is The Real Deal | mlbbro.com

While the home run numbers (6) were low, Collier’s swing and power projects well to the next level as he matures and continues to grow into his imposing frame. 

 

Cincinnati Reds 2022 First-Round Pick ‘Bam Bam’ Cam Collier Shines In Minor League Debut | He Mashes On Every Level

 

Needs Improvement: Another young hitter who must bring down strikeouts (106), but again that will come with experience and plate discipline.

 

The Real Cam Collier Stood Up In August And Obliterated Single-A Pitching | Reds No. 18 Pick Is The Real Deal

The Real Cam Collier Stood Up In August And Obliterated Single-A Pitching | Reds No. 18 Pick Is The Real Deal

When the Cincinnati Reds took 17-year-old third baseman Cam “Bam Bam ” Collier with the No.18 pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, team brass knew they got a steal. Collier, who was projected to be a Top-10 pick, slipped a bit on draft day, but the Reds are certain happy he did.

After struggling out of the gate in his minor league debut this season with the Single-A Daytona Tortugas, Collier has picked it up.

 

Cam Collier Flipped The Switch In August 

For the better part of this season, Cam’s paltry hitting numbers of .218/.317/.328 were a bit of a concern, but in August, he seemed to finally figure it out and his abundant talent began to shine through.  In 21 games last month, the 6-foot-2- and 215-pound specimen hit .351 with 13 walks and only struck out 17 times. In all, Collier finished August with a .351/.462/.514 slash line. He also added a 14.3% walk rate, and an 18.7% strikeout which contributed to his dramatic boost in production. 

Collier’s red-hot August boosted his overall slash line from .218/.317/.328 to .246/.350/.368. But the most impressive part may be the fact that Collier who’s still 18, did this against players who are years older. 

For the season he’s batting .244 with an OBP of .339, with five homers, 50 RBIs and and 19 doubles.

Collier Is A Huge Fan Of Padres Superstar Juan Soto

Speaking with mlbplayers.com about his torrid August display at the plate, Collier told Jerry Crasnick that he prides himself on plate discipline. That statement would explain why Collier is such a huge fan of San Diego Padres superstar Juan Soto.

“I respect his game and how he plays the game,” Cam told Crasnick. “I’ve tried to pattern my game after guys like that. And I’m a really big fan of Matt Chapman from the defensive side and Nolan Arenado. I like a lot of the big-time third baseman.”

 

Cam Collier Quit Hoops To Focus On Baseball At 13 Years Old

Being the son of a former major leaguer (Lou Collier) also played a role in who Collier is today. The vibrant 18-year-old Chicago native grew up playing both baseball and basketball, and in the “CHI” the hardwood is king.

But, Collier says in eighth grade he realized that baseball was the way to go.

“There’s a reason I quit basketball,” Cam said. “Chicago is a basketball city, so I definitely wasn’t good enough to play there. I was like, ‘I suck, so I’m just going to stick with what I’m good at. I don’t like sucking at stuff. So I just stuck to baseball.”

Safe to say Collier chose the right sport to pursue long-term. Barring any setbacks, the talented third baseman is tentatively slated to make his major league debut in 2025, 2026 the latest.  Until then, he hopes to keep feasting on minor league pitching as he just did for all of August. All of the tools are evident, and it seems like Collier has passed his first pro test with flying colors. 

Cincinnati Reds 2022 First-Round Pick ‘Bam Bam’ Cam Collier Shines In Minor League Debut | He Mashes On Every Level

Cincinnati Reds 2022 First-Round Pick ‘Bam Bam’ Cam Collier Shines In Minor League Debut | He Mashes On Every Level

When the Cincinnati Reds took rookie “Bam Bam” Cam Collier with the No.18 pick of the last year’s 2022 MLB Draft, the 17-year-old sensation was looked at as the top high school player in the nation. The fact that the six-foot-two- and 215-pound third baseman fell that far in the draft was a shock for many, but a blessing in disguise for a rising Reds franchise.

 

 

2022 MLB Draft Prospect Cam Collier On Dad Lou Collier’s Guidance: “It’s Easier Going Through The Draft Process Because He Knows How It Goes”

 

 

 

After lighting up the competition at Chipola JC in Florida with a .333/.419/.537 slash line, Collier didn’t miss a beat once the Reds assigned him to Arizona Complex League. There the dynamic teen continued his hitting and base-reaching ways with a .370/.514/.630 slash line, along with seven walks in just nine games.

 

  

Collier seemed to bring that same workman’s approach coming into the 2023 season with the Low-A Daytona Tortugas. In his debut he reached base five times going 2-for-3 with a double, three RBI, and three walks. Collier demonstrated patience at the plate rarely seen by veterans. But that’s what makes him special.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collier Is No.63 Ranked MLB Prospect And Reds No.4 Ranked Prospect

 

  

Collier’s play and approach at the plate isn’t really a surprise to the Reds brass. In fact, scouting director, Joe Katuska says that’s what drew them to him.

 

 

“We think he has a really well-rounded package, but it leads with the bat and the very advanced hit tool.”

 

 

He Gets It From His Papa

 

 

Collier’s approach to the game is also something that the Reds brass are excited about. That can be linked to his dad Lou Collier, a former MLB player himself. Having that type of pedigree is wonderful, but it’s the tireless work ethic and tremendous power at the plate that stands out with Cam.

 

 

 

“We saw a player with a very pure approach at the plate,” Reds farm director Shawn Pender said. “He creates tremendous natural power for a young kid, uses the whole field and drives the ball to opposite field.”

 

 

 

 

Collier’s Strength Is Opposite Field Hitting

 

 

 

 

In last season’s small sample size, just 10 games, Collier demonstrated that opposite field ability. He collected nine hits through those ten games, four went to centerfield and five to left field. Not a single hit by the powerful lefty went to right field. The Reds view him as their future third baseman. Although they have other prospects, he’s the most talented. As soon as his defense catches up to his already advanced stick, he will be ready for his MLB introduction. 

 

 

The team has already stated that defensive improvements will come with reps and experience on the “hot corner.” If that happens, he’ll definitely be an everyday player for the Reds by the start of 2025 or soon thereafter.