Chicago White Sox: Season preview of starting catchers

(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images)
(Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox Zack Collins
(Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images) /

Zack Collins

Ever since he was drafted 10th overall in 2016, all eyes have been on Zack Collins. At the time, the White Sox’s catching core was nowhere near the same level it currently is at, which is good for him. Before McCann and Grandal, Collins was expected to be the team’s everyday-starting catcher from about 2019 and beyond. Well, they got the 2019 part right, but the presence of those two alleviates the massive amount of pressure that was placed on Collins and his rate of development.

While McCann was going off in 2019, Collins was promoted to the majors in June. After two months and 26 at-bats, things got scary. He was hitting a frightful .077/.226/.192 slash. He recorded his first home run and RBI in the first game he started, but would not record another hit until July 13. After the game he got that second hit, he was sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte.

He used that time to find his swing back and he did. He ended the Triple-A season hitting a slash of .282/.403/.548. He hit 19 home runs and drove in 74 in 88 games at Charlotte. This earned him a spot on the White Sox September roster. Throughout September, Collins started 18 games. He may not have ended his 2019 glamorously, but he did finish with a .307 OBP and .349 slugging percentage.

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His .186 average is still way lower than one would have hoped for, but considering he paired that with his .307 OBP means he is taking walks, working counts and seeing more pitches. When it comes down to it, that is all you hope for in a prospect who is the third catcher on your team. Collins may bounce around from Triple-A and the MLB again this year, but the expansion to 26 players on a roster could have created a chance for him to squeeze himself onto the bench, provided he has a strong Spring training.