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AAP: Zach Collins

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But the most noticeable difference in Collins involves the way he sets up at the plate. During the season, Collins held his bat high over his shoulders and waggled his bat. In instructs, he begins his approach with his bat rested flat on his shoulders. From there, he brings it straight up, then cocks it back and forth before starting his swing.


It’s still a busy swing, but the newer version helps him get ready more quickly.


“I guess you could say I’m getting ready to hit the ball a little bit quicker,” Collins said after his team’s instructional league game, during which he was the DH, against the Reds on Tuesday afternoon. “I’m trying to have the bat rested on my shoulder kind of Freddie Freeman-like. He kind of does the same move as we’re loading. It kind of cuts it down a little bit and it gets me on time a little bit more.”


As with any change, the new load has felt awkward in the early stages of its installation. By his count, Collins has played in just four games so far this fall, so there’s been very little time to get comfortable. Even in that limited sample size, though, he’s felt the benefits.


“I definitely feel a difference,” he said. “I’m staying through balls a little bit better, hitting the offspeed better and seeing the ball better, so I feel good. … Right now it feels a little awkward, but we’re getting there.”


Collins also felt he improved defensively this year as well. And though evaluators rated him mostly fringy throughout the season, most believed he showed improvement. Collins himself was particularly proud of how well he controlled the running game this season.





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Sometimes, the numbers and the analytics surrounding a player’s profile just fail to tell the whole story regarding their development. Former first round draft pick Zack Collins is a perfect example of that according to Hostetler.


While Collins saw his stock tumble in prospect rankings across the board due in large part to a low batting average and an increased strikeout rate in 2017, Hostetler says that the organization is still very high on Collins’ potential to be a valuable major league catcher in the future, and stresses that while the strikeouts were in fact too many for his liking, the eye that Collins’ possesses tells him that the results on balls in play will follow sooner than later.


“I think probably the most over-blown thing in all of my time here is Zack Collins’ batting average,” Hostetler said. “We don’t care. The catching development is all that we cared about last year. We talked to a few guys that have thrown to him this year and they’ve said that he’s gotten progressively better over the course of the season with his development. Part of that is he’s gotten in shape.”


“The big thing for us last year with Zack was just go catch, learn how to catch, learn how to call a game — he didn’t know how to call a game. He’s gonna have some strikeouts in his game, he had them at Miami, they were there at Miami but he walked and hit so many home runs that it kind of negated it.


“Zack’s value is completely tied into whether he can catch or not,” Hostetler said. “If he’s an everyday catcher in the big leagues, which we still believe he is, then we’ve got a pretty impactful catcher.”



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Zack Collins, C, Chicago White Sox (Double-A): Maybe Collins sticks at catcher. Maybe he doesn’t. Either way, the bat is going to play, and the idea of seeing him hitting second in the White Sox’s lineup once their full complement of prospects ascend is awfully appealing. Because his on-base skills are glorious: Collins is hitting .276/.445/.476 this year while splitting time between catcher and DH. The White Sox hope he’s the former. They’ll still take the latter.

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Cup of coffee. First at bat was a HR.


Not much else going on - back into AAA until they trade Castillo.

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