Junior catcher Zack Collins was selected in the first round of the 2016 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the Chicago White Sox Thursday night, becoming the first Hurricane drafted in the first round since 2010.
Collins, a Baseball America first-team All-American, was selected 10th overall by Chicago. He is the first Hurricane to be selected by the White Sox since the 2009 season, and the 14th MLB first-round selection in Miami history.
“It’s indescribable, a dream come true for me,” Collins said. “I’m very excited to hopefully compete for a national championship coming up, and then get my professional career started for the White Sox. I’m proud to be a part of such a great organization.”
The lefthanded slugger delivered another dominant season both hitting and behind the plate in 2016. A finalist for the Johnny Bench Award honoring the nation’s top catcher, Collins is also a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award presented by USA Baseball and the Dick Howser Trophy, honoring the nation’s top collegiate player.
“I had an idea of where I was going to go, but there’s nothing like hearing the commissioner of the MLB [Rob Manfred] call your name,” Collins said. “My dad was crying, just hugging him, celebrating with my family, knowing that all the hard work that has been put into it has finally paid off…it was an amazing feeling.”
Collins has batted .358 for the season with team-leading totals of 13 home runs and 53 RBI. His 69 walks are tops amongst all players nationwide, while his .534 on-base percentage and .631 slugging percentage are also team highs and rank among the ACC’s best figures.
The Pembroke Pines, Fla., native continued his ascent into the Miami record books with another prolific year, and currently ranks among the top 10 all-time in both home runs and RBI as a Hurricane.