With the 10th overall pick in the draft, the White Sox have selected catcher Zack Collins from the University of Miami. Prior to the draft, Baseball America projected Collins to go 10th overall to the White Sox. Meanwhile, both ESPN and MLB.com had Collins going just a bit later at 12th overall to the Red Sox.
The White Sox were in pretty dire need of catching. Both major league catchers on their roster—Alex Avila and Dioner Navarro—are free agents at the end of the year. Furthermore, their top catching prospect is Jhoandro Alfaro who ranks 15th in their system and is only 18 years old. At 21, Collins is still not necessarily close to the majors, but he certainly could supplant himself into playing time quicker.
Collins, a junior for the Hurricanes, was the best available catcher on the draft board. At 6-foot-3, 220 lbs., the 21-year old has shown above average pop at the plate. Coupled with his patient approach at the plate, Collins projects to be an above-average major league contributor one day. Despite being the best catcher on the board though, his defensive acumen has seemed slow to develop which could have hampered some of his value in a relatively mediocre catching class. A move to first base may be in the cards for Collins at the next level.
MLB.com places Collins as the 14th-best prospect on this year's draft board, while Baseball America has him at 16th. According to the scouting profiles, Collins' bat, all-fields approach, and plate discipline far outweigh his lack of receiving ability from behind the dish.
For an introduction to Collins, check out our Chris Cotillo's recent Q&A with him.