Tyler Collins is a player the Detroit Tigers could really use because he is a left-handed power bat on the bench.
It’s no mystery the Detroit Tigers have a glut of outfielders with J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton, Anthony Gose, Cameron Maybin, and lately Steven Moya. If Tyler Collins can put up good numbers off of the bench, he could still play a key role during the 2016 season.
Tyler Collins has seen limited playing time with the Tigers in 2014 and 2015. In 2015 he hit .266 with 4 home runs with 25 RBI’s in 192 at bats. He got some extensive playing time in left field in 2015 after Yoenis Cespedes was traded at the deadline. He is a left fielder by trade, which works against him with all the current outfielders; but, a good left-handed bat on the bench is something the Tigers haven’t had in a while so he could be a good backup when the starters need a day off.
Best Case Scenario
The best possible scenario is that Tyler Collins puts up good numbers at the Major League level to earn himself a spot on the big league roster. As of now (March 15) he is hitting .300 with 1 home run 3 RBI’s in only 20 at bats. At that pace, he should make the opening day roster although a little more power would be nice.
Worst Case Scenario
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The worst case scenario is tough because he’s coming from the bottom up. If his spring training numbers take a drastic dip or he just can’t produce at the major league level, he will end up stuck in the minors until either his numbers improve or his contract expires. If this happens the team won’t be out much since he’s just a backup outfielder, but it would be a bit unsatisfying considering the progress he’s made over the last two seasons. The challenge for him will be to avoid becoming the odd man out. It could be fairly easy for Collins to fall out of the mix if his numbers drop since there’s already a surplus outfielder in Cameron Maybin and Steven Moya is making a case for himself on the big league level.
In an outfield as competitive as this year, Collins should still be able to find a spot on the big league roster. Whether it be a pinch-hitting role or relief in the outfield a strong left-handed bat is something the Tigers can never have too much of.
Collins was drafted by the Tigers in 2011 out of Howard College in Big Spring, Texas. He has played in all of the Tigers minor league teams except the West Michigan Whitecaps. In 2012 in Lakeland, he stole 20 bases. In 2013, he hit 21 home runs with the Erie Seawolves. In 2014, he hit 18 home runs in Toledo. Collins is a player who can hit for power and has serious speed on the bases. He will be 26 years old in June.