Zack Collins was called up in mid-June to replace then-injured catcher Wellington Castillo, completing a lifelong dream for the 24-year old of being a Major League Baseball player. Collins, his family, and friends were all thrilled with the huge news but after a nine-game stint, he quickly found out just how much tougher things get once you get to the big leagues.
Over 26 at-bats with the White Sox, Collins posted a slash line of .077/.226/.192 with two hits, one home run, and 3 RBI.
Collins was sent back down to Triple-A Charlotte after a July 15 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Despite his time at the MLB level in 2019 being brief, Collins was able to soak up a ton of knowledge that will make him better in the long run.
As White Sox vice president and general manager, Rick Hahn stated, "We purposely chose Zack to come up and be side-by-side with James McCann."
McCann is in the midst of his first All-Star season, on his second MLB team, so his experiences were no doubt a huge boon to Collins, who is still a well-regarded prospect despite his struggles at the MLB level and will be looking to have a stellar McCann-like bounceback season himself.
It has long been discussed that Collins' biggest strength is his plate vision, yet it is a skill that he can still improve on with lots of work, something Collins himself has admitted in the past.
"I've never really worked on that [patience at the plate], so I would guess it kind of came naturally.....Guys at this level have some pretty good stuff. I'm looking to be aggressive but also swing at strikes."
Since he has been playing with Triple-A Charlotte, things have been on an upward trend for Collins. Over 66 games with the Knights, Collins has posted a slash line of .273/.395/.500 with 11 home runs, 56 RBI and 47 walks. In 17 games since going back to Charlotte from the majors, Collins is hitting .322/.446/.525.
Zack Attack! 💪@zackcollins0 leads off the 4th with a solo homer to give the Knights a 2-1 lead! That's his 11th home run of the season! #HomeRunKnights pic.twitter.com/iMIMpIS4Qv— Charlotte Knights (@KnightsBaseball) August 7, 2019
Even though Collins is looking much more impressive at the plate now, White Sox fans should temper their expectations as far as Collins coming back up at some point this season.
During Thursday night's White Sox Talk Podcast, Hahn reiterated that he and the rest of the White Sox organization has a long-term vision for Collins.
"Collins needed to go back to Charlotte and work on what he had learned.....he is doing what he needs to do to put himself in the best position for the long term."
There is a lot of optimism surrounding the 2020 White Sox and rightfully so.
Between Nick Madrigal, Andrew Vaughn and the red-hot bat of Luis Robert, the South Siders are prepared to (potentially) have an incredible influx of talent next season. But when you are going over names to watch out for next year, don't leave out Zack Collins, who faced a little MLB adversity in 2019 and will be all the better for it in 2020.
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