Michael Collins (baseball)
Michael Collins in Canberra Cavalry colours, supervising play at a home game, 19 January 2013
|Houston Astros – No. 84|
|Catcher / Coach / Manager|
|Born: July 18, 1984|
Michael John Donald Collins (born 18 July 1984 in Canberra, Australia) is an Australian baseball manager, coach and former player. He is currently the catching coach for the Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB).
Collins debuted in the minor leagues in 2001 at the age of 16 with the AZL Angels. In the 2002 Claxton Shield, the Canberra native played for the Australian Provincial team. In 2002, the teenager hit .275 in his return trip, alternating between catcher, first base and DH. In 2003 in the USA, Collins batted .333 for the Provo Angels and .368 for the AZL Angels.
In his 2004 campaign, Collins struggled, hitting .218 in only 13 games for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In 2005, Michael hit .444, third-best in the Claxton Shield and was named as the All-Star catcher. Collins fared better in his second year at Cedar Rapids, producing at a .320/.412/.482 clip with 16 steals and 32 doubles while splitting time between catcher (59 games) and first base (40). He finished third in the Midwest League in batting average and made the league All-Star team at catcher.
In the 2006 Shield, Collins hit .438/.538/.700 in five games. Due to his Claxton Shield performance, he was added to the Australia national baseball team for the 2006 World Baseball Classic. Collins was 0 for 4 in the event.
In Claxton Shield 2009, Australia Provincial was cut from the competition and Collins was "adopted" into the Queensland Rams where in 6 games he hit 5 home-runs and, if qualified, would have led the team in slugging with .957.
In 2010–11 and 2011–12, Collins played for the Canberra Cavalry, in the newly established Australian Baseball League. He ended his playing career 22 January 2012, hitting .303 in 48 career games for the Cavalry
Prior to the 2012–13 season, he retired from playing and was named the team's manager. The Cavalry went on to win the 2012-13 Australian Baseball League season and were awarded the Claxton Shield for the first time as national Champions. He returned as coach in 2013–14, in November 2013 taking the new team to the 2013 Asia Series in Taiwan where the team won the Championship.