Tigers Prospect Profile #31: Tommy Collier

Third time was the charm for Tommy Collier; after being drafted two times previously and not signing, the Tigers inked him as their 22nd round draft pick, and he excelled in his debut campaign in Connecticut.

Tommy Collier
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-2
Weight: 205
Born: 12/3/1989
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

The Tigers picked Collier in the 22nd round last summer, making it the third time he had been picked in the MLB Draft. The Brewers selected him late in 2008 and the Blue Jays did the same in 2009. He went undrafted in 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

In his debut, Collier made seven starts in the New York-Penn League, finishing with a 4-1 mark. In 39 innings he allowed 28 hits and ten walks while striking out 35 batters.

Scouting Report
Collier has a pro body with broad shoulders and sturdy legs, all with a lot of strength throughout. He is a little stiff in his movements and one scout I spoke with wondered if he needed to trim down a bit and cut back on some of the bulk muscle.

For a guy that was about a year removed from elbow surgery Collier looked very good last summer. His fastball sat at 90-92 mph with sink. He throws a heavy ball that is difficult to elevate and can break bats when he gets it in on hitters. He wasn't afraid to work inside.

Collier mixed in a change-up, curveball and slider throughout the summer. His slider was his best pitch before his injury and he threw it infrequently in the three starts I saw. He lacked confidence in his slider and looked to be guiding it rather than letting it go.

His change-up was his best pitch last summer, working with plus fade and very good arm speed. He kept it down in the zone consistently and showed so much confidence in the pitch that he even threw it back-to-back on a few occasions.

The curveball Collier showed had average potential with 12-6 break and tight spin. He didn't always get over the top of it and would leave it up at times.

As expected for a guy still a year off surgery, Collier's command was poor. He wasn't able to locate within the strike zone but he generally threw strikes.

Collier showed an advanced feel for pitching with a good idea of sequencing. He has a good pickoff move with quick feet and accuracy.

He still needs to refine one of his breaking balls to have a true chance at remaining a starter but if that occurs he has the ceiling of a number four starter.
























Health Record
As previously mentioned, Collier underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010. He made a quick recovery and had gained most of his velocity back as of last summer. He relied heavily on his slider prior to the injury and it will be interesting to see if he gets back to throwing it more frequently in the future.

The Future
Collier is slated for the West Michigan rotation to start the 2012 season. There has been no indication from the organization that they will monitor his workload any more than they would for a second year college pitchers, likely allowing him to throw up to 100 pitches per start.

Though he could be pushed by the organization, Collier will likely a be a guy that moves a level at a time for the first couple of years. The earliest I would expect him on the big league radar would be 2015.

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