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UPDATE: Royals have a 5-foot-7 strikeout machine in bullpen

Mar 30, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

tim-collins-royals-spring AP

UPDATE: It’s official, he made the team as one of four rookie relievers.

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Tim Collins has become sort of a cult favorite among prospect buffs for his small stature and big strikeout totals.

He’s listed at 5-foot-7, might be an inch or two shorter than that, and struck out 108 batters in 71 innings between Double-A and Triple-A last season.

And it wasn’t a fluke, as Collins also racked up 116 strikeouts in 77 innings in 2009 and 98 strikeouts in 68 innings in 2008. Add it all up and the 21-year-old left-hander has a remarkable 13.3 strikeouts per nine innings for his four-season pro career.

Whether or not his exceptional bat-missing ability will translate to the big leagues remains to be seen, but the Royals are apparently very close to giving him a chance to find out. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes that manager Ned Yost “wants to open the season with two lefty relievers” and “there is no obvious second choice to Collins.”

Reds reliever Danny Hererra is the only pitcher 5-foot-7 or shorter to throw at least 50 innings in a season in the past 10 years. In fact, during the past 35 years the only 5-foot-7 or shorter pitchers to log 50 innings in a season are Herrera, Bill Simas, and Richie Lewis. Collins has much better raw stuff than most diminutive pitchers, as his fastball typically clocks in around 93 miles per hour, and his minor-league numbers are so spectacular that it’d be tough for the rebuilding Royals not to give him a shot. Whether or not he’s ready to thrive at age 21 is another issue, but it’d be fun watching him either way.

  1. kinggeorge96 - Mar 17, 2011 at 1:42 PM

    Some may consider this nitpicking, but wouldn’t saying, “rebuilding Royals” be considered an oxymoron???

    Just sayin…

    • sportsdrenched - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:27 PM

      Although there is a generation of adults that don’t know this…the Royals were a model franchise once upon a time…in a galaxy far, far, away.

      So, yes it is correct to say “rebuilding”

    • Maxa - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:01 PM

      Do you mean “tautology” rather than “oxymoron”?

      • BC - Mar 30, 2011 at 10:49 AM

        Eh. It’s tantamount to the same thing.

      • professor59 - Mar 30, 2011 at 11:58 AM

        Yes. A better line would be “rebuilding Royals is redundant”. An oxymoron is two opposites mashed together, like jumbo shrimp or military intelligence.

      • bcopus - Mar 30, 2011 at 12:15 PM

        Tautology is one of those words that you use when you want either A) someone to look at you with a confused face or B) someone to believe you are an obnoxious intellect who needs everyone to know how smart you are.

        I, myself, go in it for the combo of first getting the A reaction, so that I can explain it to them and effectively seal the deal on the B reaction.

    • CJ - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:22 PM

      an oxymoron would be a contradictory statement, (i.e. rebuilding yankees).

      rebuilding royals is just redundant.

      • kinggeorge96 - Mar 17, 2011 at 4:33 PM

        You are all right.. . Made sense at first blush, I stand corrected.

        And I do remember when the Royals were competitive.. although it’s definitely a distant memory to say the least! Generation is a good marker to go by…

  2. trevorb06 - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:23 PM

    Now the Royals just need to give Robinson Tejeda another shot at starting. 2 seasons ago he was doing well at it. Now that Duensing is starting I’ve jumped on this train. :-)

    • sportsdrenched - Mar 30, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      Since Aaron Crow made the team as a reliver, and he’s a 1st Round Pick I would expect him to be the first canidate for conversion to starter.

  3. sportsdrenched - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:28 PM

    Like the ladies say:

    It’s not the size of the man, it’s the size of his K/9IP stat!

    • jhorton83 - Mar 30, 2011 at 11:07 AM

      Yes, I have heard that far too many times in my life. My K/9IP stat is not impressive.

  4. atlsp - Mar 17, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    That’s almost as many strikeouts as the Braves got from Ankiel last year (after trading Collins for him).

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