PDA

View Full Version : Tim Collins



FlakeyFool
08-19-2009, 03:57 PM
http://tsn.ca/mlb/story/?id=288182


Here's a short story that you're sure to think is a tall tale.

It's about the most interesting prospect in all of Minor League Baseball, a pitcher who's blazing his way through the Blue Jays farm system. He made his Double-A debut last night and picked up the win, striking out a pair of batters in an inning of work.

This gave 19-year-old Tim Collins 101 strikeouts on the season, in just 65.2 innings pitched. Go ahead -- I defy you to try and match that strikeout rate on any video game. It simply can't be done...even with the computer set on "Dunce" mode. For comparison's sake, Roy Halladay had 109 strikeouts in his second year in the minors. But he needed almost exactly 100 more innings of work -- 164.2 to be precise -- to get there.

A 12-6 record with 17 saves in two years in the minors...a sparkling career ERA of 1.95...199 strikeouts and only 60 walks -- these are numbers scouts love about Tim Collins.

5'7'' and 155 -- these are numbers scouts hate about Tim Collins.

That's the listed height and weight for the lefty reliever. But, according to Jays insiders that I know and trust, those might both be generous estimates. One team staffer who has seen the pitcher up close told me, "I'd be surprised if he was taller than 5'5"".

"When I arrived here in Florida back in the spring, the driver that picked me up at the airport guessed that I was a middle infielder," says Collins. "I told him I was a pitcher. He said the last guy he picked up was also a pitcher, but he was 6'5". He kind of gave me this look like he didn't believe me."

Collins is used to those looks by now. He was the star of a high school team at Worcester Vocational that went 91-5 in his four years. They made it to the Massachusetts State Final one year and as far as the semis in another. And yet, pro scouts tended to overlook him, I guess you could say both figuratively and literally. There were 1,453 names called in the 50 rounds of Major League Baseball's 2007 June Draft. Amazingly, Tim Collins was not among them.

Actually, maybe it's not so amazing. A recent review shows there are 365 pitchers currently residing on active Major League rosters. Only 26 of them are listed as being shorter than 6'0", with just one player -- coincidentally enough, Toronto's very own Jason Frasor -- checking in as short as 5'9". It's almost like Major League Baseball has its own virtual amusement park sign declaring, "You must be at least this tall to go on this ride." Thanks for your interest, but candidates under 6 feet tall need not apply.

"I know I'm not the prototypical pitcher and that I'm not 6'5''," says Collins. "But all that means is that I have go out and work that much harder and pitch that much better than them."

So far, he's succeeded...wildly.

The funny thing is none of this would have happened if general manager J.P. Ricciardi hadn't taken his two sons out to watch a summer league game in the hometown he and Collins share.

Says Ricciardi, "I knew about Timmy because all my friends in Worcester kept telling me about him. But I was actually there to see a kid named [Keith] Landers who got picked by the Orioles late but went to school at Louisville. I started to watch Tim warming up and could hear his fastball pop and thought, 'Whoa, that fastball is coming out of him!'"

Collins picks up the story from there -- "I got in to the game in the fourth inning and faced 12 batters and I think I struck out 11. No, wait -- now that I think of it I struck out all 12. A couple of days later I threw a bullpen session for them and they liked me and signed me."

Instead of packing his bags for CCRI (Community College of Rhode Island), Collins was heading off to the Blue Jays farm system with a $10,000 signing bonus cheque in his back pocket. Considering the outlandish amounts most draft picks get these days that might prove to be the most cost-effective ten grand the Jays have ever spent.

Collins made his pro debut pitching in the Gulf Coast League in the late summer days of 2007. One official in the Jays minor league system was on hand for it and says members of the Indians Gulf Coast League affiliate were laughing as he came into the game to warm up. As this staffer relates, "The laughter stopped when he buzzed a 95-mile-per-hour heater past the first guy and struck him out". Collins has been breaking bats with his fastball and buckling knees with his curve and change ever since. No one snickers now at a 19-year-old pitching in Double-A ball.

"He pitched really well for us in the Midwest [League] last year and down in Florida this year, so he deserved this promotion," says Ricciardi. "Now at Double-A we're going to get a real litmus test to see if he's getting closer."

Interim President Paul Beeston had no idea of the amazing statistics being authored by Collins in the Blue Jays minor league system. "That is a good story already", says Beeston. "But it would be a great one, the kind they make movies about, if he pitches even one inning in the big leagues."

Wilt Chamberlain once famously said, "Nobody roots for Goliath."

He's right. We are conditioned to cheer for the little guy and Tim Collins fits that role perfectly. At 5'7'', he's standing tall defying what scouts think they know about pitching. And as an undrafted free agent, he's reaching new heights in his bid to make an unlikely trip to the Major Leagues.

"There's absolutely nothing better than coming out of the bullpen to pitch the ninth inning and finishing a game off," says Collins.

So here's hoping Collins gets to experience that thrill of coming out of the bullpen in a big league ballpark. Big league -- that phrase seems so very ironic when you think of this Tiny Tim and his over-sized success.



thoughts?

blujaysrock
08-19-2009, 04:13 PM
Can't wait to see this kid up in the bigs, he has potential to be our closer in the furture imo, and he's only 19 :speechless: I've been following him in the minors since last year.

nstojic
08-19-2009, 04:14 PM
imagine that, the prized closer of the 2011 season..... 5'5" tim collins...



nice article.. he's nothing new to the psd jays forum... he's always been one of those 'look at the numbers!!! but look at the frame'-type guys... you just figure he'll never get a sniff but who knows... if he keeps it up all the way through the system, there's no reason to not give him a shot.

FlakeyFool
08-19-2009, 04:15 PM
5'5 damn thats small

JetLi
08-19-2009, 04:20 PM
Damn, if he pops a 95mph fastball at Roger's center and is awarded the closer role in a year or two, you'll see me there every game again, just because he's literally Tiny Tim.

dtmagnet
08-19-2009, 04:23 PM
Wow that is a pretty interesting story, it would be awsome if he made it to the big show.

Anythinzposible
08-19-2009, 04:56 PM
I knew this thread was coming..

Rogi10
08-19-2009, 04:58 PM
who needs lincecum when we got TINY TIM!

boms-4
08-19-2009, 05:05 PM
article says 5"7 not 5"5

nstojic
08-19-2009, 05:14 PM
article says 5"7 not 5"5

"team staffer who has seen the pitcher up close" says 5'5"





team staffer who has seen the pitcher up close > article

Habs n Jays Fan
08-19-2009, 05:29 PM
I've been following and rooting for Collins since last year and I am keen as hell to see what he does when he makes his Jays.

FlakeyFool
08-19-2009, 05:30 PM
give JP some credit for finding this kid

Gibby
08-19-2009, 05:39 PM
what is the biggest worry about a small pitcher? his durability? last two seasons he has pitch close to 70 ip and has had no injuries. i dont think pitching 70 ip a season will be a problem for him.

are you sure about him throwing 95 mph? i heard he throws consistently between 90-93 but he might top out at 95 mph?

bomber0104
08-19-2009, 06:07 PM
one of my favourite Jays prospects

R_Goulet
08-19-2009, 06:40 PM
Goulet Perfers a Cold Tom Collins!

jaysrocksox
08-19-2009, 06:53 PM
LOL! ^^

this guy sounds interesting, any video?

FlakeyFool
08-19-2009, 08:02 PM
Goulet Perfers a Cold Tom Collins!

huh?

ah nuts
08-19-2009, 08:26 PM
it would be fun to see him as a sept call up

ChacinCologne
08-19-2009, 08:56 PM
Tiny Tim for closer

StealingSigns
08-19-2009, 09:29 PM
give JP some credit for finding this kid

Nope...

This guy fell into JP's lap. JP admits to going to that game to watch an Oriole's prospect. After all the hype surrounding him, and his surprising fastball, JP gambled by signing the guy for a bag of peanuts and a package of Skittles.

This sure looks more like luck than skill as far as JP is concerned.

Great story though, looking forward to seeing him develop.

wowzman
08-19-2009, 09:53 PM
A 5'7" pitcher (or 5'5", whatever he really is) has about as much chance of making the big leagues as a pitcher with one arm.

Halladay
08-19-2009, 11:22 PM
^Which is plain stupid. I don't give a **** how tall a guy is, if he can hit 40 home runs or throw 97 MPH I want him on my team. The whole argument with size being a big factor for pitchers is bogus anyway, being big doesn't make you more durable or less prone to injury, all pitchers get hurt at some point and usually they have serious arm problems. With the watered down pitching of MLB today you'd think GM's would search every corner of the planet for talent. And no, JP doesn't deserve credit for pretty much any prospect, the scouts are the one's who should get credit.

Rogi10
08-19-2009, 11:58 PM
A 5'7" pitcher (or 5'5", whatever he really is) has about as much chance of making the big leagues as a pitcher with one arm.

they said that about a 5'11 pitcher....


guess who he is, what he's done and where he is now.

BlueJayFanDan
08-20-2009, 12:11 AM
My uncle is 5'5 and hit consistently around 350. in all four years of college and was told he was too small to play in the majors so he never even made it to the minor leagues. Granted that was nearly 25 years ago but it seems like small guys don't get chances too often. Pedroia is a great story and hes a little man. Timmy Lincecum is pretty undersized as well. Tim Collins will make for a great story if he makes it which I think he will.

JaysFan87
08-20-2009, 01:59 AM
give JP some credit for finding this kid

nah, he was lucky he deserves no credit at all, in fact we should all get mad at him for not drafting this guy in the draft...stupid jp.

JaysFan87
08-20-2009, 02:04 AM
i actually posted this




nah, he was lucky he deserves no credit at all, in fact we should all get mad at him for not drafting this guy in the draft...stupid jp.

before i read and saw this


Nope...

This guy fell into JP's lap. JP admits to going to that game to watch an Oriole's prospect. After all the hype surrounding him, and his surprising fastball, JP gambled by signing the guy for a bag of peanuts and a package of Skittles.

This sure looks more like luck than skill as far as JP is concerned.

Great story though, looking forward to seeing him develop.

blujaysrock
08-20-2009, 07:45 AM
A 5'7" pitcher (or 5'5", whatever he really is) has about as much chance of making the big leagues as a pitcher with one arm.

It's hard to say no when he is averaging almost 2k an inning and has an era under 2, as well as some pretty impressive stats.

nstojic
08-20-2009, 09:26 AM
Nope...

This guy fell into JP's lap. JP admits to going to that game to watch an Oriole's prospect. After all the hype surrounding him, and his surprising fastball, JP gambled by signing the guy for a bag of peanuts and a package of Skittles.

This sure looks more like luck than skill as far as JP is concerned.

Great story though, looking forward to seeing him develop.

jp hate = old




:facepalm: :yawn:

T.O. Fan
08-20-2009, 09:26 AM
Billy Wagner has had a hell of a career as a small closer.

The_Realist
08-20-2009, 01:38 PM
In my fantasy game, Roy Halladay got 800 strikeouts in 305 innings so ha. It can be done Tim Collins.

jaysrocksox
08-20-2009, 02:45 PM
^Which is plain stupid. I don't give a **** how tall a guy is, if he can hit 40 home runs or throw 97 MPH I want him on my team. The whole argument with size being a big factor for pitchers is bogus anyway, being big doesn't make you more durable or less prone to injury, all pitchers get hurt at some point and usually they have serious arm problems. With the watered down pitching of MLB today you'd think GM's would search every corner of the planet for talent. And no, JP doesn't deserve credit for pretty much any prospect, the scouts are the one's who should get credit.


I agree, I always say that whoever is running a team would be foolish not to at least check out different games/teams and such, it's smart managing. You just never know, and what have they got to lose? nothing. I play hockey with more than one guy who, if seasoned and coached well, they have the raw talent to develop into solid pro players.