On Sunday night, news broke stating that the White Sox were calling up Zack Collins before the team heads to the North side of Chicago for their series with the Cubs. Andy Slater of 640 The Hurricane and iHeartRadio was the first to break the news and the club has not made it official as of this writing.
SLATER SCOOP: White Sox are calling up first-round pick, former Canes catcher Zack Collins.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) June 16, 2019
Collins was the 10th overall selection in the 2016 MLB Draft out of the University of Miami before joining the White Sox organization. The left-handed power hitter is currently the club’s 11th overall prospect and top catching prospect, according to MLB Pipeline and is set to make his MLB debut sometime this week.
Zack Collins has been one of the higher rated White Sox prospects since he joined the organization back in 2016 and made his way through every minor league affiliate before reaching the majors. In 2018 with the Birmingham Barons, Collins slashed .234/.382/.404 with 24 doubles, 15 home runs, 68 RBI, 101 walks, and 158 strikeouts in 122 games. His play, most notably the strikeouts, concerned a lot of White Sox fans. However, Birmingham is known to be a tough ballpark to hit in and Collins seemed to be a victim of that. Even with the 158 strikeouts, he still managed to reach base at a 38% clip which is really impressive and is something he should continue to do at the next level.
During the 2019 season, Zack Collins started the year with the Charlotte Knights where he slashed .258/.382/.497 with 9 doubles, 9 home runs, 38 RBI, 35 walks, and 68 strikeouts in 48 games for the Knights. His Knights debut got off to a monster of a start as he hit two home runs, a triple, and racked up five RBI on the evening. It was not a surprise to see Zack Collins improve once he hit Charlotte, being that it’s a much more hitter friendly ballpark, and he did just that during his time in Triple-A.
— TheMoncadaArmada (@HashTagWhiteSox) April 5, 2019
The 2019 season has shown us that not only are the White Sox a fun team, but they are improving as well. They have guys like Yoan Moncada, Tim Anderson, Eloy Jimenez, and Lucas Giolito leading the way and looking like a solid foundation for when the team is ready to take that next step by being serious contenders. It seems like we’ve gotten to the point where the dark days of the rebuild are over and now, the team is turning the corner. More and more highly rated prospects are going to start trickling in and this is where the fun truly begins.
Zack Collins is going to give the White Sox a left-handed power bat, which is something the team currently doesn’t have much of. He also brings some versatility to the roster with the ability to catch, play first base when needed to, and DH to allow the White Sox to have him and James McCann in the same lineup. Collins brings advanced plate discipline which is the main reason for his .380 on-base percentage throughout his minor league career. While strikeouts will always be an issue with Collins, he makes up for it by walking at a very high rate and getting on base frequently.
With his arrival, there will obviously have to be a corresponding move since he’s not currently on the 40-man roster. Welington Castillo left Sunday’s game with lower back tightness and is going to be re-evaluated today, according to the White Sox. This could potentially be an easy move if Castillo goes on the IL with Collins being able to take his spot. However, if Castillo does not go on the IL, then things could get a little interesting. There’s the possibility that the White Sox could still have Collins take Castillo’s spot and just be done with Castillo.
Also, there’s the possibility that this could spell the end of the Yonder Alonso experiment and Collins could take his spot. I do have a hard time believing that the White Sox would want to carry three catchers on a regular, non-expanded roster, so if Castillo remains healthy, I’d lean towards him being the odd man out. If he goes on the IL, then Collins will simply take his spot and the club will have to figure out what they want to do with Castillo once he is eligible to return from the IL.
After reaching a .500 record leading into the weekend, the White Sox skidded their way through the rest of their series with the Yankees and found themselves two games below .500 with a 34-36 record. The team will now get a powerful boost with Zack Collins’ bat being inserted into the lineup. This isn’t going to be a temporary move if Castillo does go on the IL. Collins is here to stay and is ready to start what should be an exciting, long-term MLB career with the White Sox.
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Feature Photo Credit: Sean Williams/The Loop Sports