Date of Birth: 6/6/1990 (2014 Opening Day Age: 23)
Acquired: 2011 Draft, 6th Round
Ranking History: #9 (2012), #11 (2013), #14 (2014)
Background: Popped in the sixth round after transferring from Baylor, the Tigers were pleased when he showed up in short-season Connecticut and slashed .313/.360/.534 in 42 games during his pro debut. In 2012 he continued to hit well with a .290 average, 35 doubles and 20 steals for High-A Lakeland. Collins struggled in his first exposure to the upper minors, hitting just .240 in 129 games at Double-A in 2013.
|2013 Stats - Hitting|
Body: Very thick build; stocky; muscular; burly shoulders; minimal neck; looks more like an NFL fullback; quality athlete; not a fast-twitch guy; not a prototypical body but it works and he's in good shape.
Hit: Good feel for the zone; has ability to recognize spin; at his best refrains from chasing out of zone; swing and miss will be present but can be tempered from levels of 2013; will work counts but likes to be aggressive when he gets a pitch he can drive; fastball hitter; needs to use entire field more; can't get pull happy and swing through pitches in the zone; bat speed is solid; potential average hitter if he maintains approach. Grade – Present 4/Future 5
Power: Line drive stroke; can really drive it to the pull side; still has gap pop to the opposite field; doesn't lift the ball and lacks long term home run power; potential to pick up plenty of doubles; fringe power profile overall with more coming from doubles than home runs; 25-30 doubles, 10-12 home runs is attainable. Grade – 4/4+
Speed: Runs hard all the time; gets the most out of his natural speed; average times down the line; looks like he's running faster than he actually is; solid instincts on the bases but not a significant stolen base threat; 10-15 annually if they let him run; potential to take extra bases thanks to aggressive style; thick body may not hold speed at average level of long haul. Grade – 5/4+
Defense: Should be limited to corner outfield; likely left field profile because of arm strength; all-out defender; gets after it in the field; has improved reads/routes since signing and how projects to near average defensive level; still needs to polish overall game; gets things done more on grit and determination, rather than skill; club has tried him in CF at times but he lacks speed and true instincts for the position; best role is LF. Grade – 4/4+
Arm: Arm didn't show well early in career; mechanics are inconsistent; release can be slow; will show occasional average arm; mostly below-average; limits defensive profile to LF; muscular build makes it hard to project growth in arm strength. Grade – 4/4
Other: Max effort player; leaves it on the field; grinder mentality that maximizes tools; needs to stay within himself on offense; determined to succeed; quality makeup though he can be too hard on himself and try to do too much.
Summary: Fullback build with impressive strength and solid athleticism; aggressive in every way; doesn't back down on the field; has average hit potential with quality approach that backs fringe power profile; more doubles than home runs; defense can play on corners; arm limits to left field; average run; won't impact the game with speed; can impact the game with grinder mentality.
Risk: Low risk; game has nearly reached maturity; moderate ceiling/high floor player
Projection: Slated for Triple-A to start the spring, Collins has nearly cemented his place on the MLB roster with a strong showing; potential to be a quality platoon option in LF; gap power should play immediately; likely a streaky player; should be in MLB for good in 2015.
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