CHICAGO -- The phrase "polished offensive skills" was attached to Zack Collins when the White Sox selected the left-handed hitter 10th overall in the 2016 MLB Draft.
So the current catcher for Class A Advanced Winston-Salem, who will join fellow White Sox prospectsYoan Moncada and Michael Kopech at the SiriusXM All-Star Futures game on Sunday at Marlins Park in Miami, isn't worried about a lower-than-expected batting average in his first full Minor League season. Not when his catching and defensive skills have shown marked improvement.
"My main goal was to make a lot of improvements catching behind the plate," said Collins during a Thursday afternoon conference call. "I've done that so far. The hitting will come around. I'm not too worried about that. It's been a great year so far."
:: 2017 Futures Game coverage ::
Collins, 22, has thrown out 35 would-be basestealers in 2017, with a caught-stealing percentage slightly above 40 percent. He's caught 466 1/3 innings and has matured as a game-handler as well.
As for his offensive numbers, Collins has a .369 on-base percentage, 10 home runs and 24 extra-base hits overall. Those statistics bump up against a .213 average with 86 strikeouts in 244 at-bats.
"For a hitter like me, average doesn't really mean much," Collins said. "I'm still getting on base a lot. I'm still putting up power numbers."
"There's power production, he's getting on base," said White Sox director of player development Chris Getz. "And then on top of all of that, his catching has improved. He's throwing so well, his blocking is getting better. There definitely have been some positive things that have happened for Zack."
Playing in the Futures Game, with a first pitch of 3 p.m. CT to be broadcast live on MLB Network and streamed on MLB.com, means going home for the young catcher. He resides in Florida and played collegiately for Miami.
"I couldn't be more excited for this weekend," Collins said. "I have a ton of people at the game and a bunch of people who watched me play in college. It's going to be a lot of fun."