Scott Merkin of MLB.com caught up with White Sox general manager Rick Hahn to discuss the catcher position. It seems the team is comfortable with the group they having moving into 2017.
The catcher position has long been neglected by the Chicago White Sox. You can argue the last great player they had at the position was A.J. Pierzynski. This season we thought the White Sox would sign a player to finally improve the position. They did make a signing but it was in the form of Geovany Soto.
There was a decent crop of catchers available during free agency but Rick Hahn didn’t pull the trigger on either one. That’s because he’s confident with the group they have.
"“Part of that process is giving some young guys the opportunity to show what they can do and see if they can work their way into that mix. It potentially could happen at catcher.”-Rich Hahn"
Soto echoed those remarks telling Merkin they have a great young group that’s willing to put in the work.
Omar Narvaez seems like the guy who will break camp as the starting catcher. He played in 34 games last season hitting .267. Most importantly, Carlos Rodon‘s ERA was 3.45 with Narvaez behind the plate. That will be important moving forward as the White Sox will rely on Rodon to help anchor the rotation.
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The one guy lost in all this is Zack Collins. Collins is one of the top prospects in the farm system but many feel he’s still about two years away from the big leagues. Once he makes it to the big leagues he should give the White Sox a power-hitting left hander they so desperately need. Some scouts have suggested Collins change positions but the organization seems content on keeping him behind the plate.
Hahn spoke to Merkin about giving young guys the opportunity to show what they can do. That is definitely a good way to approach the rebuild. With the team not really expected to contend, it doesn’t hurt them to see what they have.
Aside from Narvaez and Soto, the team also has Alfredo Gonzalez, Kevan Smith and Roberto Pena in camp. Clearly the edge goes to Narvaez and Soto but stranger things have happened. It’s important for fans to remember this is probably just a stop-gap position until Collins is ready to arrive. He is clearly the future of the organization. They’re just trying to make it through the next couple seasons until he’s ready. Once that happens, catcher won’t be such a topic of conversation.