Who: Timothy Collins
DOB: 8/29/1989, Worcester, Massachusetts
Weight: 155 lb
Acquired: Traded with Gregor Blanco and Jesse Chavez from Braves for Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel – 7/31/2011
~ Baseball America: #13
~ Royals Review #15
~ Kevin Goldstein: #10
~ John Sickels: #16 C+
~ Royals Prospects: #14
|AA (2 seasons)||AA||2.97||50||11||63.2||26||104||1.084||6.1||0.8||3.7||14.7||4.00|
|A (1 season)||A||1.58||39||14||68.1||32||98||0.995||4.7||0.4||4.2||12.9||3.06|
|Rk (1 season)||Rk||4.50||7||0||6.0||2||7||1.333||9.0||0.0||3.0||10.5||3.50|
|AAA (1 season)||AAA||1.33||15||4||20.1||8||21||0.836||4.0||0.0||3.5||9.3||2.63|
|A+ (1 season)||A+||2.37||40||3||64.2||28||99||1.160||6.5||0.3||3.9||13.8||3.54|
At every stage of his career, baseball announcers are going to make a point to discuss Tim Collins journey through professional baseball. It’s just their nature. He’s a (just barely) 5’7″ pitcher who can hit 95 mph with his fastball and has a career 13.3 K/9 as a professional. Signed as an undrafted free agent, he pitched for three organizations in 2010, landing with the Royals as part of the Rick Ankiel/Kyle Farnsworth deal. At the time, he seemed a bit like an afterthought – a toss in. Now it’s clear he was the best acquisition by Dayton Moore at last year’s trade deadline.
Collins has a fastball that sits around 91-93 but can get to 95. He also has good movement on the pitch. He has a very good curveball with 12-to-6 movement and is developing a changeup that could be a plus pitch as well.
On top of electric stuff, he has a delivery that utilizes a lot of high leg kicks and turns that work to deceive hitters. All of that added up to a breakout season where he finished the year in Triple A, holding opposing batters to a .127 average over 20 innings.
Collins tends to give up more flyballs than groundballs, but it’s not an extreme split. Almost half of his outs come from strikeouts anyway, so as long as he maintains his deceptive delivery and solid command, he’ll continue to see success. He has legitimate closer upside despite his diminuitive stature. It didn’t seem to be an issue for Billy Wagner who could also get some heat on his fastball despite being a generously listed 5’10″.
The Royals had no hesistance to send Collins straight to Triple A after they acquired him. Despite his youth and size, he dominated and became an easy fan favorite (if that counts for anything). He’s been successful at every stop along the way, save for 13 innings in Double A in 2009. That short time with Delaware saw him put up a 5.68 ERA with a slight loss of control as he walked seven batters. His groundout/airout ratio was at 0.54, well below his career 0.88 number, so he may have been giving up more line drives and flyballs that found a way to drop in at that level. With a few more baserunners from the walks, it’s easy to see how the runs could add up quickly. That being said, Collins only gave up one homer, and it was his first shot at Double A batters. The .255 average against at Delaware was the second highest in his pro career, behind the .273 against in the Rookie League as a 17 year old.
Collins has the best shot of anyone to make the Royals out of spring training. With the Twins claiming Dusty Hughes – the only regular lefty out of the bullpen in 2010 – the Royals have just three other left-handed pitchers on the 40 man roster, and two of those are projected starters (Jeff Francis and Bruce Chen) while the third (Everett Teaford) has made one start at Triple A in his career. With his stuff, his record of success and the need for a left-hander, it’s almost his spot to lose.
Can we start a campaign to play “Here I Come To Save the Day” when he enters the ballgame?
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