Zack Collins Ends Long Year With AFL Stint
Zack Collins (Photo by Bill Mitchell)
CHICAGO—Catcher Zack Collins finished a long year with a brief run in the Arizona Fall League.
The No. 10 overall pick in June enjoyed a standout career at Miami. In the AFL, he played just 10 games and batted .227/.393/.500 with six walks and eight strikeouts in 28 plate appearances.
The White Sox were pleased with what Collins showed them this year. After a long collegiate season that ended in the College World Series, then 39 combined games in the Rook-level Arizona League and at high Class A Winston-Salem and an instructional league stop, Collins was a taxi-squad player with Glendale in the AFL. That means he was only activated for two games a week.
That was more than enough playing time for the 21-year-old.
"We just want him to get out there and see him play,” said Nick Capra, now the big league third-base coach after spending the last five years as farm director. "He’s had a long season.”
Collins hit two homers and drove in five runs for the Desert Dogs in his limited playing time. The lefthanded hitter also continued to show solid strike-zone awareness that stood out even in his amateur days.
Given his big power and advanced plate discipline, Collins is already being viewed by some as the DH of the future for the White Sox.
But the organization is in desperate need of catching help and strongly feels the 6-foot-3, 220-pound Collins can handle the demanding position.
"He’s going to be a catcher,” scouting director Nick Hostetler said. "We evaluated him as a catcher. He is a solid catch-and-throw guy, and we feel he’s going to be an impact middle of the order bat. There’s no question to anyone that he can catch.”
In 21 combined games at catcher with the AZL White Sox and Winston-Salem, Collins threw out just three of 21 basestealers.
In the AFL, he kept a close eye on Glendale teammate Carson Kelly, a Cardinals prospect and one of the top defensive catchers in the minors.
• The White Sox claimed Rymer Liriano on waivers from the Brewers. The 25-year-old outfielder missed the entire 2016 season with multiple facial fractures after being hit by a pitch in a March 30 spring training game against the Dodgers.
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• Chicago outrighted J.B. Shuck to Triple-A Charlotte and he became a minor league free agent.