Meteors are dazzling masses that burn bright and fast and often disintegrate once they enter the perils of Earth's atmosphere.

You could say spring-training phenoms tend to meet a similar fate.

Tyler Collins, though, is behaving like one of those guys who won't fade into the bush leagues once he departs Tigers camp in a few weeks.

Jim Leyland suggested as much Wednesday after Collins had a hit in three at-bats that left his Grapefruit League batting average at .545 and his stock with the Tigers soaring.

"I really like him a lot," Leyland said after the Braves had knocked off the Tigers, 5-3, at Joker Marchant Stadium, with all of Detroit's runs coming courtesy of homers by Prince Fielder and Don Kelly. "I think he's a very good-looking prospect.

"The one thing he does that's impressive is that he seems to see the ball quick. It looks like he recognizes pitches in a hurry.

"I like him a lot. He's a very interesting guy."

That would come as no surprise to the Tigers developmental staff. Collins, 22, was a first-tier Tigers prospect even before he was invited this month to his first big league camp 20 months after Detroit made a left-handed-hitting outfielder its sixth-round draft pick out of Howard College in Big Spring, Texas.

Collins is a 5-foot-11, 215-pound Texan who could have been a Division I running back had he not promised to play baseball at Baylor. And Baylor happens to be where Collins initiated college ahead of his transfer to Howard in one of those it's-a-long-story narratives.

But the reason Collins opted for that wild Baylor-to-Howard-to-Detroit path was evident Wednesday against Braves left-hander Jonny Venters.

Collins ripped a fourth-inning single through the infield's middle for his sixth hit in 10 at-bats since the Grapefruit League kicked off last week. Two of his six hits have been doubles. Two have been triples.

From The Detroit News: