Why the White Sox need Zack Collins to be GOOD

Good day friends, it’s your good pal BeefLoaf coming atcha with some stuff I was working on one morning when I got up too early and ingested too much caffeine. Before I get the jitters, I want to share with you a conclusion that I have come to by digging around the old internets and fondling an excel spreadsheet or two.

THE WHITE SOX (AND YOU AND I) NEED ZACK COLLINS TO BE GOOD!!!

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In theory, you could say this about any prospect, especially the ones really high up in the pecking order, but I’m talking about something specific. Let’s dig in a bit on Zack Collins‘ minor league numbers. This will get a little numbery, so if that’s not your particular brand of Tequila, you can skip to the end for the conclusion and get all the value from this post.Otherwise….LEGGO.

Zack Collins career minor league slash line .234/.378/.434

That’s Batting Average / On-Base Percentage / Slugging Percentage for those scoring at home.

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This includes absolutely EVERYTHING, but according to almost everyone who knows stuff about Zack Collins, he’s going to hit right handed pitching and probably be relegated to the bench vs left handed pitching (those of you watching the White Sox on Tuesday night got a little glimpse of Zack vs LHP).

Versus Right Handed Pitching in AA & AAA .249/.396/.461

Oh gosh, even gooder.

It’s becoming clear to me that Zack Collins does seem to do something pretty well. What does he do well?

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As Joe Sheehan would say (paraphrasing), “They need to make more left hand turns at first base

Below is a table that tells us a few things about “Left Hand Turns” at first base in the American League, since the strike season.

OBP Chart

Since the strike season, I averaged the trailing 5 years of OBP by the American League to flatten out the noise of a single season. Since 1995, OBP is down ~25 pts or basically 7.5%, ie, OBP is becoming much harder to come by. Side-by-side with that analysis is the White Sox OBP by season. The White Sox have been notoriously poor at getting on base. Even the GOOD White Sox teams weren’t GOOD at getting on base. In fact, the last time, they beat AL league average OBP (flattened out using trailing 5 years) was 2006. For those scoring at home, that was a long time ago. To realize how potent an above average OBP version of the White Sox is, the 2000 group lead the AL in runs scored with 978, the 2006 group was 3rd in the AL.

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Back in 2006, the White Sox had 3 everyday regulars that exceeded league average (flattened) OBP by more than 8% (WARNING, THIS IS AN ARBITRARY CUT OFF POINT TO ALLOW ME TO EMPHASIS SOMETHING), and they were …….

Paul Konerko .381
Jermaine Dye .385
Jim Thome .416

The 2019 White Sox have 2 such players….

Yoan Moncada .352
James McCann .389

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I included this gif to gain favor from MySoxSummer who likely can’t read the chart I included above.

While, I don’t expect Collins to get on base at the same clip as in the minors, the quality of pitching, ldo. I do however wonder if Collins could get 8% above league average, which in this environment is .346. If he could do that, which is 32 pts below his career minor league average he’d be a monster help to a White Sox offense that is starved for base runners. A good on-base Chicago White Sox will be an offensive juggernaut.

I don’t know if Zack Collins will succeed, but you can see why lots of folks are excited at the prospects of his bat succeeding in Chicago.

-BeefLoaf

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