Tyler Collins

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Tyler James Collins

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Biographical Information[edit]

Tyler Collins played parts of four seasons with the Detroit Tigers.

Tyler hit .430 in high school; he was also an All-district punter, running back and pole vaulter. He batted .404/.459/.506 in 29 games as a college freshman with the Baylor Bears. He transferred to Howard College and hit .488 with 19 homers, 16 steals, 34 doubles and 82 RBI in 59 games, winning American Baseball Coaches Association NJCAA Division I Player of the Year honors. He was drafted by the Detroit Tigers and scout Tim Grieve in the 6th round in 2011.

In his rookie season, Tyler hit .313/.360/.534 with 8 home runs and 31 RBI in 42 games with the Connecticut Tigers (he also played once with the GCL Tigers, going 1-for-3 with a double and 2 walks). He tied Travis Shaw and David Medina for 5th in the NYPL in homers. Baseball America rated him having the second-best pro debut among junior college players drafted in 2011 and 13th best prospect in the Tigers chain. He hit .298/.366/.458 with 14 doubles in 43 games for the Sydney Blue Sox that winter, tying Elliot Biddle and Dominic Ramos for 4th in the Australian Baseball League in two-baggers. In 2012, he hit .290/.371/.429 with 7 home runs, 35 doubles, 66 RBI and 20 stolen bases while only being caught three times in 126 games for the Lakeland Flying Tigers, then was 11-for-30 with two doubles, two triples and two home runs in the playoffs. He tied Mikie Mahtook for 9th in the Florida State League in average, was 7th in OBP (between Robby Price and Ramon Flores) and was second in doubles (8 shy of Jim Murphy). He tied Aaron Westlake for the most two-baggers by a Tigers minor leaguer, was 9th in steals and was 6th in total bases (between Eugenio Suarez and Dean Green). Baseball America upgraded him to Detroit's 7th best prospect. He hit .240/.323/.438 with 21 home runs, 79 RBI and 29 doubles for the Erie SeaWolves in 2013. His steals were way down (4-for-9), but he tied Michael Almanzar for 9th in the Eastern League in doubles, tied Reynaldo Rodríguez and Allan Dykstra for fifth in homers and was 6th in RBI (between Almanzar and Carlos Moncrief). He tied Danny Dorn and Jamie Johnson for 6th in the Tigers chain with 67 runs scored, was 10th in doubles, was second in home runs (four shy of Dorn), was second to Dorn in RBI (3 short) and was 6th in total bases (between Suarez and Daniel Fields).

Collins made the Tigers' Opening Day roster in 2014 and debuted in the opener, on March 31st, pinch running for catcher Alex Avila in the 9th with the score tied at 3 against the Kansas City Royals. He advanced to third on a single by Nick Castellanos and scored the winning run on Alex Gonzalez's single. Tyler played only 7 games before being sent back to the minors in mid-April and was not back until rosters expanded in September. He spent the year in AAA with the Toledo Mud Hens, hitting .263 in 121 games, with 17 doubles, 18 homers and 62 RBI as the team's regular left fielder. He had a key pinch-hit for the Tigers on September 20 against the Royals with the two teams battling for the AL Central lead. With he score tied at one with two outs in the top of the 7th, he singled off James Shields to drive in the go-ahead run, and the Tigers ended up winning, 3-2. In the majors, he hit .250 in 18 games, with a homer and 4 RBI. He played 80 games for Detroit in 2015 and hit .266 with 4 homers and 25 RBI. He had begun the year in Toledo, where he hit .247 in 53 games, then came up to stay in mid-July when the Tigers decided to give some youngsters playing time as their season was headed nowhere.

On April 25, 2016, he made the news for an inappropriate gesture directed at the crowd after he was booed for dropping a ball he lost in the lights at Comerica Park, allowing Marcus Semien of the Oakland Athletics to reach on a double. The gesture was caught on television and he apologized after the game for losing control of his emotions. He was sent to AAA two days later, but the team insisted this was not as punishment for his gesture, but because he was not hitting - he was 2-for-20 at the time - and they needed to clear a roster spot for closer Francisco Rodriguez, who was coming back from family leave. He played 56 games in '16 and hit .235 with 4 homers and 15 RBI while backing up all three outfield positions. In May 2017, Collins was mired in an awful 0-for-30 skid that had lowered his average to .216 after a good start while playing regularly in the place of injured teammates in April. He was hitting .304 on May 1st before his troubles began. The skid included a game on May 16th when he twice made the last out of the inning in extra innings with the winning run on third base; the Tigers ended up losing, 13-11, to the Baltimore Orioles. The Tigers were out of substitute players by that time, so manager Brad Ausmus let him hit in those critical situations even though he was obviously flailing. He snapped the streak in brilliant fashion the next day, by hitting two homers in a 5-4 win over the Orioles. In his final big league look, Tyler finished the season batting .193 in 41 games with 5 home runs. He played briefly with the Omaha Storm Chasers the following season, earning his release after batting only .132 in 18 April games.


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