WASHINGTON, Pa. (April 10) –
With Spring Training just around the corner, the Wild Things announced the signing of an outfielder to the 2018 roster today. The team did so by inking former Royals’ farmhand Roman Collins to a deal for the upcoming season.
“Roman was heavily sought after this spring and we are happy he chose Washington,” said assistant general manager of team operations Tony Buccilli. “During his time with the Royals he played a dynamic style of baseball: heavy with extra base hits and drawing a fair share of walks. Once we hired [field manager Gregg] Langbehn, we shifted our focus back to the athletic, speed and power outfielders and Roman fits that mold. We expect Roman to be quite impactful for us and have challenged him to be a force driving in runs.”
Collins, who was drafted in the 5th round of the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, played three seasons in the Royals’ farm system after two in college at Des Moines Area Community College (Junior College) and one at Florida Atlantic University. He also played one season for the Melbourne Aces in the Australian Baseball League, the same league former Wild Things’ pitcher Trevor Foss played a few seasons in.
The Charleston, West Virginia, native, who played his high school ball and currently lives in Maple Grove, Minnesota, tore it up at Des Moines Area CC in 2014, as he posted a .435/.512/.756 slash line at the plate to go along with 25 doubles, three triples, 12 home runs and 74 RBI. Collins also drew more walks (31) than times he went down on strikes (26). Once at FAU, the left-handed hitter hit .288 with an OPS of .859. Collins connected with 13 doubles, legged out five three-baggers and hit seven home runs in 2015, while driving in 59 and drawing 39 free bases in 277 plate appearances.
That’s when Collins was drafted. He advanced as high as Advanced-A Wilmington between 2015-17 in the Kansas City Royals’ organization. Collins had 54 doubles, 15 triples and 21 home runs between his three affiliated seasons. He drove in 139 runs in the three years. In Melbourne, Collins slashed .336/.398/.486 with 22 RBI and 15 extra-base hits in 166 plate appearances.
“The last few years with the Royals were great. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities they gave me,” said Collins. “The biggest adjustment from college to pro ball was the transition to playing every day. The toll it takes on your body is one thing, but the mental side of it is even more taxing.”
Collins said the process was hectic of trying to find a pro-ball team to play for after his release from the Royals’ system.
“I was released from the Royals at the end of March and wasn’t sure I would even have a team to play for this summer,” said Collins. “I started getting calls from teams from all over the country but I chose the Wild Things because it seemed like the best fit for me. I have friends I played with in the Royals system who currently play for the Wild Things and they had a lot of good things to say, plus it’s pretty close to my family in West Virginia.”
Current Wild Things’ players Mike Hill and Kyle Pollock played with Collins in the Royals’ organization.
The outfielder described himself as a “dynamic” offensive player with a “good combination of power and speed.” Defensively, he said he has the ability to cover a lot of ground.
“I’m very excited to be a part of a winning team and I am looking forward to making a positive impact in 2018,” said Collins. “I want to continue to improve as a baseball player while helping the Wild Things win a championship.”