Detroit Tigers News

Detroit Tigers: It’s hard not to like Tyler Collins & his desire to improve

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May 17, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Tyler Collins (18) hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Tyler Collins (18) hits a three run home run in the fifth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Outfielder Tyler Collins has been a polarizing figure ever since he made his Detroit Tigers debut in 2014.

The Detroit Tigers outfielder does have some endearing qualities that make him an asset to the team.

Those assets include his ability to hit home runs and to make big plays in the outfield.

Collins was drafted in the sixth round by the Tigers in 2011. He spent time in all of the minor league teams except the West Michigan Whitecaps. He also spent time playing in Australia and in Arizona in the Fall League. He debuted in the Big League in March of 2014, but he did not exceed his rookie status until 2015. In the MLB, he has a career slash of .249/.307/.400 with an OPS of .706.

May 17, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Tyler Collins (18) receives congratulations from shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) after he hits a home run in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
May 17, 2017; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers center fielder Tyler Collins (18) receives congratulations from shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) after he hits a home run in the second inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

Currently, Collins has numbers that are close to his career averages. After a strong start, Collins is averaging .238/.300/.396 and .696. His current numbers reflect a 0-30 slump that began on May 2 against the Cleveland Indians. The trip to California and Arizona was not a good one for him. Even though Collins did not get any hits during this drought, he walked twice and he did score two runs. Unfortunately, he did strike out 11 times.

Working hard to keep his spot

But, the 26-year-old left-handed batter did not give up. In the second game against the Baltimore Orioles, Collins had a day. He had three hits yesterday: two were home runs and the third was a double. Of the five runs scored, he was credited with four of the RBIs.

His performance on Wednesday night was one for the record books. His recovery from the 0-30 slump was the best for a Tiger since 1913.

This is what makes Tyler Collins easy to like. He keeps on fighting and he wants to win.

Comparing Collins to another player

Think about the comparison between Collins and Bruce Rondon. They are both 26 and both have spent time in the Tigers minor league system. Rondon actually began his time with the Tigers in Venezuela in 2008 when he was only 17. Yes, they play different positions, but they are both baseball players at the professional level. Rondon and Collins have both had self-made set-backs. But, while Rondon has continued to fall into the mode of self-sabotage, Collins has not.

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From the get-go during Spring Training, it has been crystal clear that Collins wants to be a professional baseball player at the major league level. He came to Florida in outstanding physical shape and he has done nothing but work hard to prove that he is worth keeping. That is admirable.

Of course, he has not been perfect, but what baseball player is? He did not earn a hit or score a run in today’s game against the Orioles, but he did prevent a big run from being scored. In the seventh inning, he robbed Adam Jones from a game-tying home run. It was a highlight-reel-worthy play where Collins made the catch off the wall in front of the away-team bull pen.

Next: J.D. Martinez is making up for lost time

As a product of the Tigers farm system, Collins is a rarity on the team. There is no doubt that he has grown since arriving in Detroit and he continues to work on his game, improving in any way that he can.

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