FutureSox Prospect Rankings
- #21 – 2015 Preseason
- #24 – 2016 Midseason
- #27 – 2017 Preseason
- #21- 2017 Midseason
- #16 – 2018 Preseason
- #17 – 2018 Midseason
- #16 – 2019 Preseason
- VIDEO: Full At Bat, 8/30/2015 (HBP)
- VIDEO: Full At Bat, 9/25/2015 (BB)
- In-depth background story – Year One, Seby Zavala
- In-person report on Zavala, June 2016
- VIDEO: Full At Bat, 6/23/2016 (double)
- VIDEO: Full At Bat, 6/25/2016 (F9)
- VIDEO: BP Session, 6/25/2016
- Interview, June 2016
- VIDEO: Combined AB’s from AFL, 2017
- All FutureSox articles tagged Seby Zavala
- Arizona League All Star, 2015
- South Atlantic League All Star, Midseason 2016
- Hitting Prospect of the Month, May 2017
- South Atlantic League All Star, Midseason 2017
- Arizona Fall League, 2017
Zavala moved around a lot in his amateur career, playing a mix of third and catcher in high school (where he only played for 2 years), then playing primarily in the outfield at San Diego State in his first two seasons before moving back behind the plate for 2015 (as a redshirt junior). Tore the UCL in his throwing arm in 2012 as a freshman, resulting in Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2013. Offense was his strength at the collegiate level – he compiled a .290/.399/.537 line in his final year at SDSU, hitting 14 home runs in 64 games.
Taken in the 12th round in 2015, he was assigned to the AZL as a 21-year-old and posted gaudy numbers at the plate: .326/.401/.628, leading the league and the entire Sox system in multiple offensive categories (though in just 35 games). In 2016, Zavala went to Kannapolis, where his overall numbers at the plate were decent if unspectacular (.253/.330/.381, 7 HR, 8.7% BB/PA, 25.7% K/PA). Given his 0-for-17 start, a home park that suppresses power, spending a few weeks mid-summer playing on an injured leg (then missing some time due to it), and his being a catcher, the numbers look a little better. 2017 saw Zavala open back at Kanny due to the presence of Zack Collins a level above him, and he showed to be ready to move up (.840 OPS, 8 HR). He went to Winston-Salem and in 55 games put up a strong .302/.376/.485 line with 13 more HR to finish with 21 on the year, leading the entire Sox farm. Then it was on the AFL where he posted more strong numbers. 2018 had Seby open in tandem with Collins again, this time at AA Birmingham, where his .830 OPS and improved defensive work got him a promotion to AAA Charlotte in July. Zavala struggled a bit with the Knights, hitting .242/.266/.357 over 48 games.
Zavala gets the bat through the zone quickly from a somewhat crouched stance and tucked leg kick, and he works long at bats. The swing is fairly compact and efficient. He works the middle and the gaps well, and as he’s gained strength the game power is playing up (60 FV ceiling). Physically he’s probably a little less than the listed six feet, but strong and athletically built. Speed is below average (though perhaps average for a catcher). Defensively it’s a mixed bag. The weak spot in his game is handling bad pitches, but 2018 reports indicate marked improvement in this area, thus prompting his promotion to AAA. His arm is average but has a pretty quick release giving him better than average performance there, and he moves well around the plate in play action. We’ve heard a number of positive reports about his pitcher handling, and he shows good baseball IQ. He’s been healthy most of his career, but has dealt with a minor wrist issue that caused a couple stints if missed time in 2018. The overall package looks like a probable major league backup, and now he’s just a phone call away from Chicago. Some analysts feel he has an outside chance at a starting major league job if everything comes together.
Major League Outlook: OBP and power-reliant catcher, likely as a backup
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