Seby Zavala Continues Power-Hitting Ways

The White Sox are keeping a close eye on a catching prospect playing for Double-A Birmingham.

Actually, they’re tracking two catchers with major league potential.

Zack Collins, the 10th overall pick in 2016 following a standout career at Miami, is ostensibly the main attraction behind the plate for the Barons. But Chicago isn’t sleeping on Seby Zavala.

A 12th-round pick out of San Diego State in 2015, Zavala missed his freshman season with the Aztecs after having Tommy John surgery.

The injury was a definite setback for the 5-foot-11, 210-pound catcher, but Zavala never lost sight of his goals.

“It’s just really rewarding knowing that all of the work I’ve put in is finally starting to show a little bit,” Zavala said.

The 24-year-old showed a lot last season, batting a combined .282/.353/.499 at low Class A Kannapolis and high Class A Winston-Salem. Zavala also led all White Sox minor leaguers with 21 home runs.

Picking up where he left off last year, Zavala was leading the Southern League with 10 homers through 38 games this season.

“The home run part, it just comes,” Zavala said. “I don’t really look for home runs or anything. I just try to find a way to help the team every day.”

His bat looks like it’s going to be an asset for Chicago in the near future, but Zavala understands the importance of playing strong defense behind the plate.

“I’ve always thought I was a catcher who was able to hit,” he said. “I really take a lot of pride in my catching and handling the pitching staff.”

Through the first quarter of the season, Zavala and Collins have shared near equal time at catcher with the Barons. When one is catching, the other is usually the DH.

“I think it’s going really well,” Zavala said. “I think overall, we’re a good combo, and we have a good situation going on here.”

>> Sidelined since early March with a sprained left thumb, 20-year-old outfielder Luis Robert should be ready to play in early June. He is expected to spend the bulk of the season at Winston-Salem, and he’s also an Arizona Fall League candidate.

>> General manager Rick Hahn said pitching prospect Alec Hansen is making slow but steady progress from right forearm soreness in extended spring training.

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