SURPRISE, Ariz — After four seasons of calling them a division rival as a member of the Detroit Tigers, outfielder Tyler Collins is thrilled to join Kansas City Royals.
“The organization over here is wonderful. They have a group of guys here that genuinely care about everyone and they want to create an environment that everybody can thrive in,” he said.
Collins, 27, signed a minor league deal with the Royals in January after electing for free agency in November.
Over parts of four seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Collins was a .235 hitter with 14 home runs and 58 runs batted in.
Drafted by Detroit in the sixth round of the 2011 draft, the Howard College product is joining just the second team in his career. The thought of it — a new organization, new teammates — can be daunting, but Collins is happy with where he’s at.
“It’s just impressive to see everybody in here [being] about working hard but having a good time, and when you approach it the right way, the game becomes fun again. It’s a cool place to be right now.”
He later clarified that his comments were in no way directed toward the Tigers organization or their players.
Though he’s been familiar with the major league level since debuting in 2014, Collins has taken advantage of the opportunity to already learn from his new teammates.
“I like watching the way Gordo [Alex Gordon] approaches his day. Everybody here has a beautiful routine and everybody here seems very mature and grown up and professional about the way they conduct themselves everyday.
“It’s pretty impressive all the way across the board.”
Collins was a non-roster invite to spring camp but is vying for an outfield reserve spot with the big league club. Coming into Saturday’s game against the Chicago White Sox, he was batting 4-for-10 (.400). He finished 1-for-3 with a run batted in and run scored versus the White Sox.