Zack Collins just won the Southern League home run derby. That’s cool and a really nice accomplishment and all but Collins has bursted onto the scene since the season started. He has made some massive improvements in his game shutting down all of the negative notions that were made when he was drafted number 10 overall out of Miami. Notions that I really didn’t have since he slashed a line on .319/.472/.601/1.073 is unreal for a catcher.
Last year slashing a slightly unimpressive line of .224/.370/.445/.816 with 19 home runs and 53 RBI. While this year Collins has shown strides of improvement this year slashing .267/.429/.460/.890 with 9 home runs and 33 RBI. Improving by at least 15 points in every category and with still room for improvement. Striking out 78 times already this year is an eye sore but Collins is showing he has yet to even hit close to his peak yet.
Eventually the way he’s playing in Birmingham will force the Sox hand and eventually move him to Charlotte AAA. The way he’s going I expect him to get that invite to spring training and with the average catchers the White Sox have on their MLB roster you can expect him to force their hand and bring him up to the show. Collins isn’t being talked as highly about as Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, Michael Kopech or Alec Hanson. But in all honesty he needs to be in that conversation.
What Collins can give this team is something they’ve been searching for since AJ Pierzynski left. A solid mainstay catcher with great defense and can give you a .270-.280 BA with over 20 home runs and 60 RBI. Collins is the catcher that can be the mainstay and unsung hero of this team for the next 15 years if he continues to grow as a player. A good catcher is a necessity for any team to be good look at all teams who have won world series recently. Salvador Perez of the Royals, David Ross of the Cubs, Evan Gattis of the Astros and the catchers who have won multiple WS and how important they are to the teams like Buster Posey, Yadier Molina, Jason Varitek and Jorge Posada. All those names mentioned were crucial to winning the WS for that team. So Collins being the guy is just as important as any other prospect the Sox have right now. And I have a good feeling he is going to deliver on his potential 100%.