clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Q&A with St. Louis Cardinals 2B prospect Malik Collymore

New, comments

If you haven't been keeping an eye on Collymore already, it might be a good idea to do so.

Malik Collymore

With the team's 10th round pick of the 2013 MLB Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals selected Malik Collymore, an athletic high school shortstop (at the time, considering he now plays second base) out of Mississauga, Ontario. Blessed with a quick bat, fantastic defensive range, and a strong throwing arm (88-90 MPH across the diamond), it was somewhat surprising that Collymore fell to the 305th pick of the draft, but scouting director Dan Kantrovitz and the rest of the front office staff definitely weren't complaining. Collymore, along with Magneuris Sierra (CF) and Edmundo Sosa (SS), has helped lead the Cardinals to the top of the GCL's East Division, with a record of 30-23 and seven games to play.

Player Profile:

  • Bats: Right
  • Throws: Right
  • Height: 6'0"
  • Weight: 200 pounds
  • Born: April 29, 1995 (Age 19)
  • High School: Port Credit SS (Mississauga, Ontario)

2014 Statistics:

Year

Level

Team

G

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS

ISO

wOBA

wRC+

2014 Rk GCL 47 175 .333 .406 .497 .903 .163 .425 159

Q&A:

Viva El Birdos: What are some of the best nicknames you have acquired over the years?

Malik Collymore: To be honest, the only nickname from teammates or coaches that has stuck is "Colly," and that was given to me when I first joined the GCL Cardinals last summer.

VEB: If you had to pick one teammate to participate with in American Idol or the Voice, who would it be and why?

MC: I would have to say Deandre Asbury-Heath. He’s been my roommate for this whole year. He loves to freestyle rap, so I think he would be a good partner to do a singing competition with. I’m not much of a singer, but I always remember the words! Haha.

VEB: If you had to eat one meal every single day for the rest of your life, what would you choose and why?

MC: Definitely a chicken bowl from Chipotle. It is basically the standard minor league meal. I already eat it 2-3 times a week because it’s relatively healthy and filling.

VEB: If you weren’t a professional baseball player, which sport would you most reasonably see yourself playing?

MC: If I did not play professional baseball, I could see myself being a sprinter in the 100 meter dash. I ran track and field in high school and enjoyed it a lot. It’s a sport that requires a good work ethic, and I think I could do it.

VEB: If you could hit off any current big league pitcher, who would you choose and what the result of the at bat be?

MC: I would want to face Blue Jays knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. I’ve never faced a knuckleballer before, so I think that would be a cool experience. Hopefully, I’ll be able to put the ball in play!

VEB: It appears that Canadian basketball seems to be on the rise in the NBA, can the same be said about baseball in Canada? What does the youth baseball scene look like up there?

MC: I’m really excited about sports in Canada as a whole. It’s such a diverse country, so we are starting to produce elite athletes in all sports more consistently. In Canada, high school baseball isn’t a really big deal so kids play with travel teams. I played with arguably the best organization in Canada, the Ontario Blue Jays, as well as the Canadian Junior National Team. We would play against NCAA colleges, junior colleges, as well as other travel teams in both Canada and the USA. There are other good programs that are producing great baseball talent north of the border.

VEB: Who is going to finish 2014 with a higher batting average? You or Magneuris Sierra?

MC: We both have been playing well so we’ll see who finishes out on top. The main goal and focus for this season is to be the first Cardinals team to win the Gulf Coast league. If we can do that, then I’ll be happy regardless.

VEB: What adjustments have you had to make from playing in the dry/cold weather of Canada to the hot/humid weather of the Gulf Coast?

MC: Playing in the Toronto area is a lot different from playing in the Gulf Coast when it comes to weather. For example, in Florida it’s really important to hydrate because we sweat so much more in the Florida heat. If we don’t hydrate enough, we can get dizzy or cramp up when running. On defense, the sun is extremely bright because we play in all day games. I have made an adjustment of playing with sunglasses as well as blocking the sun with my glove on fly balls.

VEB: What are your thoughts on hitting mechanics and approach? What have you been taught throughout your playing career?

MC: I feel that the most important aspect of hitting is confidence. Without it nothing else will work because the batter will always have doubts in his swing or approach, no matter how much work he has put in. I’ve been working on my swing since I was 8 years old and know I have a long way to go but I believe that if I’m confident and comfortable in the batter’s box everything will take care of itself.

VEB: With the end of the season approaching, what do you plan on working on most over the offseason? Have the Cardinals discussed anything in particular that they would like you working on?

MC: I really want to continue to improve my defensive skills at second base. I have already come a long way from when I first got drafted, and I’m excited to continue getting better while I prepare for the next level.

VEB: From a fielding standpoint, what do you feel like is your biggest strength? Biggest area for improvement?

MC: My biggest strength is my range. I take pride in not letting a ball get by me. My main area for improvement is my arm accuracy. Working with our infield coaches has greatly helped me in this area.

VEB: What has been the best part of minor league baseball so far? The worst part?

MC: The best part about minor league baseball so far has been all the ball players I have had the chance to meet and become friends with. I have learned a lot from my teammates over the course of my short pro career. The worst part would be dealing with the ups and downs of the season. I try to stay positive everyday no matter how I played that day.

VEB: Which current big league player do you believe your game most resembles at this point?

MC: I like to model game after some baseball’s best second basemen such as Brandon Phillips and Dustin Pedroia. They are great players as well as great team guys who set good examples for the rest of the team.

High school home run derby video (fast-forward to the ~3:20 mark):

*********

I am grateful for Malik taking the time to answer these questions for Viva El Birdos. I wish him the best as he closes out a breakout 2014 season with the GCL Cardinals and fully expect him to appear on some Cardinals' top prospect lists come 2015.

*********

Of note: The Astros' SBN site put together an in-depth, pre-draft scouting report of Collymore last year.