The Chicago White Sox received outstanding offensive production from Yasmani Grandal in 2021. He missed some time due to injury which affected his defensive work a little bit but it was overall a good year for him. However, on his off days and during his injury rehab, there was an opportunity given to Seby Zavala.
Zavala split time with Zack Collins during those days but he also stuck with the club for a bit when Grandal came back. He had some ups and downs with both his offensive game and his defensive game but we pretty much know what Zavala is at this point. He should best be described as the third man on the depth chart.
Unfortunately for the Sox, he was the number two for a good portion of the season and that needs to change. It is looking like Zack Collins may never take that next step both offensively and defensively so it makes the future of both him and Zavala interesting.
For Zavala, he did have some great moments in 2021. He will always remember the one game that he hit his first career home run. That moment is always special for any player but it was even more for Zavala because his second and third career home run came in the same game. It was one of the best games that he will ever play in his entire career, totaling a whopping six RBIs.
The most impactful part of Zavala’s season, however, came in a cornfield. He hit a home run in the Field of Dreams game to extend the White Sox lead to 7-3. Shockingly, that was only the second most impactful plate appearance of the game for Zavala.
After going down 8-7, Zavala had a very tough battle at the plate that led to a ninth-inning walk. With two outs and Zavala on first, Tim Anderson hit a home run to give the White Sox the victory. Without that walk by Zavala, the White Sox may never have earned the most iconic win of the 2021 season. He will forever be linked to that game and should be proud.
2021 Final Grade: C
Seby Zavala wasn’t the best hitter and he wasn’t the best catcher but he did a good enough job for the role that he was in. As the third catcher in the organization, he was fine during Grandal’s absence. He gets a C for his work as he had some big moments but nothing that helped the White Sox take a step as an organization.
Zavala is going to get his reps in 2022 but it may or may not be with the White Sox. It would be nice to see the organization land a really good defensive catcher for Grandal’s backup so that would hurt Zavala’s playing time but he will be in the organization unless there is a trade. Hopefully, if he is forced to play in the MLB at all, he is able to make an impact from time to time.