1-on-1 With Sophomore Catcher Gavin Collins

Mississippi State sophomore catcher Gavin Collins talks one-on-one with Gene's Page.

  • Name: Gavin Collins
  • Position: Catcher
  • Class: Sophomore
  • HT: WT: 5-foot-11, 204
  • Bats-Throws: R-R
  • High School: El Toro High School (Lake Forest, CA)

  • Going up to the Cape Cod League this past summer, the top summer league in the nation, what were your goals?
    "I knew I was going to struggle with my batting maybe a little bit because we were facing such elite pitchers every game. They were the best pitchers in the nation. It didn't matter if they were from an SEC school or another D-I program. Every guy was good.

    "But defensive-wise, I was just trying to catch every ball and block every pitch in the dirt and try to keep it right around the plate, and try and get on the same page as all of the pitchers that I caught. It worked out ok."

    Were you happy with your summer results?
    "Yes, I was happy. With the offense, there is always room for improvement, but, with the defense, I try to take as much pride in it as I can."

    Did your coach in the Cape Cod League allow you to call your own pitchers like they do at Mississippi State?
    "Yes sir, they did. My coach up there, Harvey Shapiro, was a great coach. He was a great mentor. And he really knew the game well. He would suggest pitches sometimes. He would call my name, I would look over, and he would suggest a pitch with the sign system that we had. So, we would go with that one. But usually, he had full faith in me and let me call my own game."

    With the pitchers at MSU you were able to work with them during the fall. But in the Cape Cod League you didn't have that luxury. How did you adjust to your pitchers, basically, on the fly?
    "I asked them a lot of questions based on what I did and didn't do during our (spring) season. That kind of transferred over to my summer. I asked them what they throw, where they usually miss with their best pitch, what their out pitch is. I also watched them as much as possible when I wasn't in the game. I would also ask the other catcher questions when I wasn't catching that day."

    How much different is this fall compared to last fall, which was your first one at Mississippi State?
    "You can't get too comfortable because anyone at anytime can take your job. I'm just going to keep getting better and not get too comfortable."

    Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.

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