Collins joins Chicago White Sox from Class AAA Charlotte
Removed from the second game of a doubleheader Sunday while playing for Class AAA Charlotte, Zack Collins was initially perplexed.
"I wasn't really sure why," he said. "We were throwing a shutout and I was pulled. I was kind of concerned about that. I didn't know if I was traded or what was going on."
Collins, the Chicago White Sox's top catching prospect, was not traded. He was promoted after Welington Castillo (strained left oblique) landed on the 10-day injured list.
A left-handed hitter with some serious pop, Collins joined the Sox on Tuesday at Wrigley Field after having his contract purchased.
"I always wondered what it would be like to be on the field and be in the clubhouse like this," Collins said. "And now that I'm here, it's kind of unreal."
A left-handed hitter, Collins likely will have to wait until the White Sox are in Texas this weekend before he makes his first major-league start.
The Cubs started left-hander Cole Hamels on Tuesday night and another lefty, Jon Lester, starts the final game of the interleague series Wednesday night.
Collins hit .268/.400/.512 with 7 home runs and 33 RBI against right-handed pitchers at Charlotte this season. He slashed .189/.283/.378 with 2 homers and 6 RBI against lefties.
"Zack was the obvious person to get an opportunity to get up here and kind of get a feel and a taste for what it's like," manager Rick Renteria said. "Hopefully, he'll get some opportunities and get assimilated to major-league baseball."
Ever since he was drafted with the No. 10 overall pick out of the University of Miami in 2106, Collins has not been lacking in the confidence department.
Reaching the majors seemed to add even more.
"I think I fit in the everyday lineup, middle of the order," Collins said. "Behind the plate, first base, DH, it doesn't really matter. I think I can help the team win and, obviously, in the box is where I excel."
Collins has been trying to prove he can be a catcher in the majors since he was drafted, but he did start nine games at first base for Charlotte this season.
"Behind the plate, being with an older group at Triple-A was definitely helpful," Collins said. "There's always room to improve. Now with (James) McCann, I can learn a lot from him.
"At first base, I'm still getting more comfortable there. But it's a new start. I feel fine playing games there. There are just a couple of things I have to work on."