The KC Royals signed outfielder Darryl Collins from the Netherlands in 2018. After his first minor league season, he’s their No. 25 prospect.
Welcome back to the Kings of Kauffman “Projecting the Prospects” series. For each KC Royals’ top 30 prospects, we review the best, worst and most likely scenarios. Another new entry to the MLB top 30 list in 2020 is outfielder Darryl Collins. Just a 15-year-old teenager in 2017, he led Netherland’s top professional level with a .418/.510/.532 slash.
Last year he played 48 games for the Royals in the Arizona League and facing stiffer competition did not slow him down one bit. He batted .320 and smacked seven double and seven triples as well as drawing 22 walks in 208 plate appearances. He has a keen ability to pick up the ball while at the plate, striking out just 30 times.
We could pick on the errors which led to only a .961 fielding percentage in 2019, but again he was just seventeen years old. Collins already stands at 6’2″ tall and could gain another inch or two before he hits 20 years old. One would expect he will get stronger and start hitting with increased power as well. As you can see in the video below from the Under-18 World Cup, he can offer some pop.
After 3-4 years of seasoning in the minors, Collins bulks up a bit and continues to have a great eye at the plate. Keep in mind that if it takes four years, he still would only be 22 years old. He produces .320+ average seasons and hits 10-15 home runs that make him a perfect spot in the two-hole batting lineup. He improves his defensive skills as he works his way through the organization and can crack the big league roster by 2023.
As he continues to work his way up in competition he is not able to adjust to the professional game. Since the Royals signed him at such an early age they have plenty of time to see what comes of his talent but by age 23 or 24 they trade him or outright release him. Of course, the Royals are known to give hard-working players many chances to make it to the big leagues in their late 20’s, i.e. Whit Merrifield and Bubba Starling.
Most likely outcome:
Collins should definitely be a positive addition to the Double and Triple-A rosters once his time comes. Eventually, a fourth outfielder at least with an opportunity to win a starting role in the big leagues by 2024 or 2025. He still hits for a decent .280 average and keeps a keen eye that can draw many walks, he could become a must-have bat off the bench.
Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Collins is a prospect you must keep your eye on. His development over the next few years will be exciting to watch.