Collins, a pre-season all-star candidate for Mississippi State, has had surgery to repair a hamate bone injury in his left (receiving) hand. Initial expectations are he will miss at least four weeks and maybe longer, which would keep him out when the Bulldogs open SEC season in March.
As a 2014 rookie, Collins started 46 of the 48 games he played in 2015, 43 of those starts behind the plate and the rest at DH. He batted .304 last season, third-best on the ball club, with one home run and 19 RBI. Defensively he threw out 13 base runners to became the first Bulldog All-SEC Freshman catcher, and was All-SEC Tournament.
Mississippi State does have an experienced backstop to call on for the coming weekend’s opening games. Senior Cody walker started six games behind the dish last season and played in a dozen other games. Junior transfer Josh Lovelady also took turns catching in fall camp and now in preseason.
The 2015 campaign opens this Friday with State hosting Cincinnati at 6:30 at Dudy Noble Field.