Sep 20, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder Tyler Collins (18) connects for a one run single in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
#3: Tyler Collins
Tyler Collins is an under-the-radar type of guy and figures to be the Detroit Tigers’ fifth outfielder this season. The 24-year-old has been moving around the Tigers’ organization since he was drafted in 2011, appearing in an increasing number of games for the team in Spring Training from 2012 to 2014.
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He was a good story coming out of Lakeland last year. While he struggled a bit toward the end of camp, which ended up lasting into the season, he made the season-opening roster for the first time in his career, making his debut Opening Day. Collins didn’t notch his first hit until his seventh game of the season, a two-hit performance in Los Angeles against the Dodgers, but that would be it for that stint.
Collins was sent down to Toledo in exchange for J.D. Martinez and because of J.D. Mart’s success he was stranded in the minors despite hitting for power with 18 homers in 121 games at Toledo. After being called up in September, Collins immediately got busy, hitting a three-run homer in Cleveland on September 1.
It should be interesting to see how Collins will do without regular at-bats because he seemed to struggle a bit with that early on last year. Though he won’t be a starter, Tyler represents one main focus of the offseason: a deeper bench.