FARGO, N.D — One more Kansas City Monarch is heading to the All-Star Game. Catcher and infielder Gavin Collins has won a fan vote for the last spot on the American Association’s West Division team, the league announced Friday.
“It definitely makes coming to the park even more enjoyable,” Collins said during the league’s announcement. “We have a great fan base, and it makes perfect sense that they were able to come through in the clutch and get the votes in.”
Collins beat out five other players to win the spot on the West roster. He’ll join LG Castillo of the Gary SouthShore RailCats, who won the race in the East.
HOME RUN 🚨: Gavin Collins’ FOURTH HOME RUN of the season is a two-run shot OFF OF THE SCORE BOARD! 💥💥💥💥
— Kansas City Monarchs (@kscitymonarchs) June 28, 2023
Five Monarchs are now heading to the All-Star Game, including pitchers Jalen Miller and Trey Jeans, catcher Chris Herrmann and second baseman Justin Wylie.
Collins has played catcher, first and third for Kansas City this year. He enters Friday’s game with a .303 average, .845 OPS, five home runs and 23 RBIs in 37 games.
He’s also on a hot streak as of late, reaching base safely in 13 straight games before Wednesday night. That included a 3-for-5 day against Winnipeg on July 2, where Collins delivered his fifth homer of the season.
The Lake Forest, California native has played a vital role in the clubhouse, as his teammates can attest.
“Gavin’s an unbelievable baseball player, unbelievable person,” Monarchs closer Patrick Weigel said. “He’s hitting in the heart of our order, and doing it defensively at catcher, first base, and second base. He’s a guy that can play anywhere on the baseball field and still get up to the plate and have great at-bats.”
Drafted by Cleveland out of Mississippi State in 2016, Collins has made it as high as Triple-A in his affiliated career. He joined the Monarchs in 2023 from the Rays organization, where he played in 16 big-league spring training games earlier this year.
Collins’ Monarchs have the best record in the American Assoiation entering Friday, and are three games clear of first-place Fargo-Moorhead in the American Association standings. Those two teams meet for a crucial three-game series this weekend.
About the Kansas City Monarchs
The Kansas City Monarchs are a professional baseball team in the American Association, an MLB Partner League. This year, they are celebrating their 20th year of baseball in Kansas City, Kansas. In 2020, the team partnered with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and changed their name from the T-Bones to the Monarchs in honor of the legendary Negro League franchise that played from 1920 to 1965. The Monarchs won ten Negro American League championships and two Negro League World Series championships in their history. The team featured numerous notable players over the years, including Hall of Famers Satchel Paige, Jackie Robinson, Ernie Banks, and Buck O’Neil.
About the American Association
The American Association of Professional Baseball played its first season in 2006. It is a professional partner league that is affiliated with Major League Baseball but not specifically with any one team. The league consists of 12 teams located primarily in the Midwest and the South of the United States. Its season runs from May to September and features players who are looking to showcase their talents for a chance to be signed by a major league team.