Let’s take a look at a prospect that was not on many radars just 2 short years ago, if you were to look at Fangraphs, Baseball Prospectus, or MLB Pipeline White Sox top 30 you would not see the name Seby Zavala anywhere. This year he is on every top 30 prospect list for the White Sox, with many speculating he could be up in the majors this season. So with the impending arrival of the Sox second ranked catcher, behind Zack Collins let’s take a closer look at a single player instead of the 10,000-foot view we took here.
In the 12th round of the 2015 draft, the White Sox chose a catcher from San Diego State University. He had Tommy John in 2013 but returned strong and made his professional debut for the Arizona League White Sox spending the year there and slashing .326/.401/.628 with four home runs and 35 RBIs in 35 games, earning him a 2016 ticket to single-A Kannapolis. He struggled a bit in single A, slashing only .253/.330/.381 in 93 games and showed no great raise in anything but strikeouts. He began 2017 looking to bounce back in single A, and he did add more power hitting 6 more home runs in the first half of 2017 than he did all of 2016 earning a promotion to high A for the second half of the season. That year between the two teams he slashed .282/.353/.499 with 21 home runs and 72 RBI’s and the Sox sent him to play with other top prospects in the Arizona Fall League. Seby was invited to join the team in 2018 Spring training but was ultimately sent to Birmingham and after half the year he was promoted to Charlotte, between both teams he slashed .258/.317/.418 hitting 13 home runs and 51 RBI’s.
Zavala wasn’t a full-time catcher in college, he was a DH and after his Tommy John Surgery he played left field, it wasn’t until his senior season that he took the reigns as a catcher. It shows now as scouting reports say his framing and his receiving skills still need work and best fits as an offensive backup. Looking back to what he did to jump his power up in 2017 was a change in stance and launch angle but it also came with an influx of balls that were pulled, almost half in the last two years. If Zavala wants to be a starting catcher he will have to use the whole field and strike out a bit less. He also will need some work on his defense especially slowing down the run game, he has thrown out only 29 percent of potential base stealers in his career and allowing 41 past balls. Zavala was added to the 40 man roster after his 2018 season, so Hahn and company clearly see a future for Seby somewhere in this organizational plan.
I hope you enjoyed and learned something about another potential piece to the hopeful World Series Championship team. Like us on Facebook, comment here, on Facebook, or on our Twitter @SidedSox, maybe even give us a retweet or two. Life gets fun on out Twitter with gifs, memes, and playful banter. You can also Email us at SoxSided@gmail.com, we would be happy to hear your questions, comments, ideas, and criticisms.