TROY, NY - Georgetown University isn't known for its baseball program, but Nick Collins emerged as a legitimate MLB Draft prospect during his three-year career with the Hoyas. In 149 games for GU, Collins hit .351/.412/.470. Collins also played well during the 2014 Cape Cod League, hitting .310 with a .434 OBP. The Oakland A's liked what they saw from Collins the past three seasons and took him with their eighth-round draft pick. That is the highest round the A's have used on a catcher since the 2012 draft when they selected Bruce Maxwell in the second round.
Collins has continued to show that he can hit for average during the outset of his professional career. In 18 games for the short-season Vermont Lake Monsters thus far, Collins is batting .275. He has just nine strike-outs in 69 at-bats.
Donald Moore spoke with Collins during a recent Lake Monsters' roadtrip about how he is adjusting to the professional game and his goals for this season and beyond.
Donald Moore: Hi Nick, how is everything going for you this season?
Nick Collins: It's going well. We are putting everything together and playing really well of late. We just need to keep that rolling into the games ahead.
DM: What are your goals for this year?
NC: Perform as good as possible, make a good impression on the organization and show them why they drafted me. Just perform and give it 110 percent every day, day-in and day-out.
DM: What do you feel is your greatest strength as a ball player?
NC: Probably being a leader and that especially comes in handy as a catcher, so definitely being a leader.
DM: What would you'd like to improve on?
NC: There is always room for improvement in your game. Just putting in work everyday.
DM: How are you adjusting to professional baseball?
NC: It's not too big on an adjustment. I had an opportunity to play in the Cape last summer and that really prepared me for pro ball this year and that has really helped me.
DM: What is the best thing about becoming a pro ball player?
NC: Just living out your childhood dream. Being able to come out everyday and play the game that you love. A lot of kids can't say that. It's definitely a dream come true.
DM: Any pregame routine?
NC: No. I go through the same routine everyday. We come out here and stretch, take quality hacks at batting practice and bring it to the game. Get your catching work in early.
DM: Any hobbies?
NC: Ah yes. Love to hunt and fish.
DM: Favorite baseball team growing up?
NC: That would be the Atlanta Braves because it was closer to home. I'm from North Carolina and they were the closest team growing up. The next closest team was the Nationals, but they were the Expos when I was younger, so it's definitely the Braves.
DM: If there was one person who taught you the most about baseball, who would that be?
NC: That would be my dad. I think I picked up a baseball bat when I was two or three years old and his arm bothers him now from throwing so much. I have two brothers and his arm hangs now because he threw so much BP when we were kids. It's definitely my dad.
DM: Craziest thing you ever saw in a baseball diamond?
NC: I've seen guys make incredible plays. I saw a guy that flipped over into the dugout and landed on his feet coming into the dugout to make a catch. That was probably one of the better plays I've ever seen, but other than that, nothing too crazy.
DM: Where do you see yourself regarding your baseball career in the future?
NC: Hopefully making it to the big leagues. I mean as a kid, you want to make it to college baseball. In college baseball, you want to make it to professional baseball and once you make it in professional baseball, you obviously want to make it to the Major Leagues. So that is the ultimate goal.
DM: Nick, thank you so much for your time and the best of luck to you and your career.
NC: Nice meeting you and thank you. I appreciate it.