White Sox Prospects: Who will be the catcher of the future?

After the trade deadline, the White Sox have set themselves up to have at least two potential All-Star catchers for the future. The catcher competition that will unfold in the next two to three years will be exciting
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game
SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game / Steph Chambers/GettyImages
2 of 4

Korey Lee

The Chicago White Sox acquire Corey Lee from the Houston Astros.

With the recent emergence of Yainer Diaz, the Astros have made it clear they want him as their future. Considering the pitching staff's admiration for Maldonado, they will likely resign the 39-year-old, displacing Lee.

That is until the White Sox reunited Kendall Graveman with Houston, sending Lee to Chicago.

Defensively, Lee has a canon of an arm. Graded 70 on the 20/80 scale, his arm is his best defensive tool.

In the past, he has had trouble in the blocking and game-calling aspect of the position, but today scouts would consider those two parts at league average. Lee recognized a weak aspect in his defensive game, worked hard to fix it, and overall improved.

Offensively, Lee has raw power that makes scouts salivate. In 2019, he smashed 15 home runs with Cal leading to the Astros drafting him that year.

Last season, in 104 games with Triple-A Sugar Land, Lee smacked 25 home runs and 20 doubles, driving in 76 runs. He had an ops of .790.

After the 2022 season, Lee and Astro coaches agreed he needed to work on his .238 average and .307 on-base percentage. The change in approach caused fewer home runs but improved other aspects of his offensive game.

Despite the walk rate dropping, so has his strikeout rate. He has been more selective at 24.8% K rate compared to 28.5% last season.

That directly translates into his .369 batting average on balls in play. In 68 games with the Sugar Land Space Cowboys, Lee raised his batting average to .283 and on-base percentage to .328.

Offensively, Lee must learn to mix his raw power with his get-a-hit approach. Defensively he needs to continue to work on blocking and game-calling to complement his arm strength.

Before the season began, many expected him to make the Astros' 26-man roster. When someone hears they'll probably make the major league roster and they don't, it's easy for that player to slide a bit and regress. Lee didn't skip a beat, reported to Triple-A, and began his work.

Lee has shown signs of leadership and the Space Cowboys pitchers praise his work ethic. He has proactively prepared for games and watches MLB sequences to help his Sugar Land staff. His Triple-A manager called him the overall package and he has the skill set to be the catcher of the future.

Playing for an organization where promotion is unlikely can be taxing. A change of scenery and a chance for promotion before the catching competition begins could be what Lee needs to break out.