- Full name Timothy Michael Collins
- Born 08/21/1989 in Worcester, MA
- Profile Ht.: 5'7" / Wt.: 166 / Bats: L / Throws: L
- School Worcester Technical
- Debut 03/31/2011
Organization Prospect Rankings
When he was with Toronto, where former GM J.P. Ricciardi signed him as a nondrafted free agent, Collins' nickname was Tim LinceCollins. Like the two-time Cy Young Award winner, Collins is an undersized pitcher with outsized stuff. He was traded twice last summer, going to the Braves as part of a package for Yunel Escobar in June and then to the Royals as part of a deal for Rick Ankiel and Kyle Farnsworth a month later. Collins' next stop likely will be the Kansas City bullpen. Listed at 5-foot-7, he's closer to 5-foot-5 in reality, but he manages to generate a 90-93 mph fastball that touches 95 and backs it up with two solid secondary pitches. That arsensal has allowed him to average 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings as a pro. Not only does he have good velocity on his fastball, but he also can sink or cut it as needed. His 12-to-6 curveball gives him a second plus pitch at times. He began throwing his slightly above-average changeup more in 2010, and it has nice late fade. Collins attacks hitters and generates excellent deception from a high leg kick, a high set position and a rock and turn that presents his back to the hitter as he begins his delivery. Equally capable of retiring lefties or righties, he projects as a set-up man with the upside as the majors' most physically unimposing closer.
Collins led his Worcester Technical High team to the Massachusetts Division 2 title in 2007, sporting a 7-0, 0.17 record on the mound and a league-leading .472 average at the plate. But because he stands just 5-foot-7, he went undrafted and was ready to attend CC of Rhode Island. Former Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, a native of Worcester, saw Collins pitch, however, and had him work out for the club. Toronto signed him as a free agent and has watched him scrap his way up the ladder to Double-A. He gets outs with a solid fastball that tops out at 93 mph and a true 12-to-6 curveball that he spins really well. His quirky delivery helps him as well. He has a high three-quarters arm slot and does an especially good job of staying on top of the ball and driving down despite his height. He has a high leg kick and stands as far to the third-base side of the rubber as possible. Working exclusively out of the bullpen, Collins hasn't used a changeup much. As he moves up he'll need to command his pitches better. Pro hitters didn't touch him until he got to New Hampshire at the end of 2009, and he'll return to Double-A to begin the 2010 season.
Collins led Worcester (Mass.) Technical High to the state's Division 2 title as a senior in 2007, going 7-0, 0.17 while also leading his league in hitting with a .472 average. To top it off, he pitched a no-hitter in the central Massachusetts title-clincher. He went undrafted that June, though, because he stands at just 5-foot-7 and 155 pounds. Collins was set to attend the CC of Rhode Island before Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi, who grew up in Worcester and had seen Collins pitch, set up a workout. Toronto signed Collins that July after an impressive bullpen session. He rewarded the organization's faith by converting 14 of 17 saves as Lansing's youngest pitcher, and by leading all minor league relievers by limiting opponents to a .156 average. He also ranked 10th among relievers by averaging 12.9 strikeouts per nine innings. Collins' arm is exceptionally quick and he fires 88-90 mph four-seam fastballs from a high three-quarters arm slot. He gets good spin on the pitch and also on his above-average curveball, which he used to great effect in changing batters' eye levels. A good athlete, he holds runners well and works quickly. Because Collins works up in the zone with his fastball, some observers wonder if his stuff will play at higher levels. He doesn't have much of a changeup. Collins has incredible mental toughness and the bulldog mentality to throw strikes out of the bullpen, but he'll have to keep proving himself at higher levels.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Curveball in the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010