When not hitting a home run becomes news, a hitter is way past hot. He's a player tracked and followed. His latest game has folks wondering what this cowpoke did today.

Tyler Collins became one of those guys during the past week when he hit six home runs in five consecutive games, a string that ended Sunday when the outfielder for Double A Erie went 0-for-2 with two walks in a 2-1 victory over Altoona.

Ahead of Sunday, it had been like this: a home run Tuesday at Binghamton, followed by another Wednesday and two more on Thursday, all at Binghamton. Friday saw him slam a home run against Altoona in a home game at Jerry Uht Stadium, followed by one more Saturday.

Five games, six home runs. In his last 10 games, one of the Tigers' higher-profile prospects and a corner outfielder who had made a splash during spring camp in Florida, is batting .333 with 13 hits, a .415 on-base percentage, and .917 slugging percentage, good for a powerhouse OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage) of 1.332.

This, from a 22-year-old left-handed batter who in April batted all of .232.

"I think he went into (spring camp) and turned a lot of eyes, for sure, including the big league staff," Erie manager Chris Cron said. "But this game has a way of humbling you, to a point, and it did.

"But now it's clicking, clicking like crazy. There's not a whole lot going on with his swing. Not a lot of moving parts. He basically stands up there and gets his pitch and puts a good swing on it."

Collins was a sixth-round draft pick in 2011 after playing a season at Howard, a Texas junior college where he moved after messing up, academically, as a freshman at Baylor. He was on his way to Texas Christian when the Tigers drafted him and offered him $210,000 to forgo the Horned Frogs.

Wise investment by the Tigers, or so the numbers would suggest. Collins last season batted .290 at Single A Lakeland in his first full season of pro baseball. It earned him a ticket to big league spring camp where Tigers manager Jim Leyland and his staff got a long look at a prospect the Tigers were envisioning as part of Comerica Park's future outfield arrangement.