Collins leads the minor leagues in walks (87), on-base percentage (.408) and walk rate (21 percent), and has an .833 OPS in 96 games for Double-A Birmingham.
Collins, the White Sox's top catching prospect, has made getting on base a signature since he was drafted in the first round of 2016. He may be focused too much on the OBP, which could negate the potential of plus power as he allows pitches he can drive pass by. Birmingham manager Ryan Newman told Russell Dorsey of the Chicago Tribune that Collins was being too selective earlier in the season, when the catcher was hitting below .200 in April, but has been better in that regard. "When he expanded, not the strike zone, but what he wanted to hit, that's when he really took off. He looks comfortable," said Newman.
Collins went a combined 1-for-5 with a solo home run and a walk in Sunday's doubleheader for Double-A Birmingham.
Collins is hitting just .091 (2-for-22) over his first eight games, which clearly isn't what the White Sox want to see out of their 2016 first-round draft pick. On a positive note, he's walked seven times, so his noted plate approach is still intact. The danger is that the longer his hitting slump lasts, the more he'll begin to chase pitches. It's already started. The Florida native has whiffed 10 times in 22 at-bats.
Collins worked on fixing a hitch in his swing over the winter, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
Collins had some areas of development in 2017, getting on base at a .370 clip and hitting 19 home runs at High-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham, but some of his prospect sheen took a hit under the weight of a .224 batting average and 129 strikeouts (27.3 percent K%). As reported last October by Josh Norris of Baseball America, an area of focus for Collins during the Fall Instructional League was his body position and posture as a hitter. The goal was to make his swing less busy and get him in position to hit the ball quicker. The White Sox feel the 2016 first-round pick came along defensively, particularly in controlling the running game. However, they acknowledge areas of improvement, in terms of blocking balls and game calling. The organization can take its time with the soon-to-be 23-year-old catcher after inking Welington Castillo to a two-year deal this offseason. Improving the hit tool and making the necessary strides as a backstop will improve his prospect profile.
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