Kansas City Royals: Tim Collins Earning Spot With Team Through Solid Spring

Bill Robbins@bill_kc28Correspondent IMarch 15, 2011

Royals' lefty Tim Collins is turning in some heads in camp with his fast start this spring.
Royals' lefty Tim Collins is turning in some heads in camp with his fast start this spring.

He stands at only 5'7", 170 lbs, but don't let his lack of size fool you.

Royals lefty Tim Collins is one of the more underrated pitchers in the majors and has been an underdog nearly everywhere he has played.

Whether it was at Worcester High or while he played in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, Collins has always flown under the radar.

He was even overlooked after putting together a 2.02 ERA and fanning 108 batters in just 71 innings while playing in the minors for three different organizations in 2010.

It was strictly his size—the scouts were saying he will never make it in the majors because of his small frame.

That was until this spring, when he was invited to Royals' camp in Surprise, Arizona for a longer look at the talented young reliever.

After four appearances on the mound, team officials have to like what they have seen out of the former Atlanta Brave.

Collins has pitched five innings, while striking out five hitters and compiling an ERA of 1.80 in that time.

Statistically, he has been one of the better relievers so far this spring for KC, as the team has been auditioning many new relievers in camp this year.

Right now, he projects as a left-handed long reliever for a Kansas City 'pen that, outside of All-Star closer Joakim Soria, was one of the worst units in the American League a season ago.

His strong spring also gives Royals officials and fans hope that they will in fact have many solid pitchers currently in their farm system, considering that Collins is ranked lower than some of the more known pitchers like Mike Montgomery and John Lamb.

It is still early, but Collins appears that he is ready to help a bullpen that could really need it at this point in time.

With a little over two weeks to go until the Royals open the season against the LA Angels, Tim Collins is definitely a name to remember, as he appears to be just a few good outings away from starting his season with the big league club in Kansas City later this month.