Chicago White Sox: Keep an eye on Zack Collins

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) /

Chicago White Sox prospect Zack Collins struggled offensively during the 2017 season but is a player worth watching in 2018.

Back in 2016, the Chicago White Sox drafted catcher Zack Collins with the 10th overall pick in the MLB draft – a formidable offensive force from the left side of the box with prodigious numbers from his playing days at the University of Miami.

The biggest concern surrounding the future of the young, ambitious catcher comes from the position itself. Many doubt whether he can adjust and adapt to playing one of the most physically demanding positions in the game.

But concerns rarely surfaced regarding his offensive prowess leading up to his career with the White Sox. And why would they? In three seasons at Miami, Collins hit 42 home runs and accumulated 183 RBIs, with a batting average of .319.

Perhaps even more impressive was his ability to get on base. Collins finished his collegiate career with 177 walks compared to 164 strikeouts and an on-base percentage of .472 – is that any good?

Promising, but still developing

However, the seamless transition White Sox fans were hoping for hasn’t come to fruition thus far. Last season for the Winston-Salem Dash, Collins struck out 118 times compared to just 76 walks and had a batting average of .223 in 101 games. Collins hit 17 home runs and knocked in 48 in 2017 for the Dash.

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Collins did, however, receive a promotion to the Birmingham Barons, where he hit two home runs and knocked in five over 12 games played. He struck out 11 times compared to 11 walks and finished with a batting average of .235.

In his minor league career, Collins has a batting average of .229 with 25 home runs and 71 RBIs in 152 games played.

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It’s still early in his career and he has plenty of time to improve and grow into the player he expects himself to become. It’s worth noting that with each prospect comes growing pains. And White Sox fans should be patiently waiting for the exponential growth that has become expected.

There’s no rush. Let him develop and give him time. 2018 could be a huge year for Collins and other top prospects. So, keep an eye out.