Defensive setbacks have slowed this backstop’s march to the majors
SSS rank among all catchers in the system: 6
2020 SSHP Top Prospect Rank: 51
Gunnar Troutwine enjoyed easily his best collegiate season with Wichita State as a senior, when he slashed .302/.413/.505 for the Shockers with seven homers, 48 RBIs, 34 walks (15.6%) and 38 strikeouts (17.4%). Based largely on the strength of his offense, the White Sox selected Troutwine in the ninth round of the 2018 draft.
He continued his offensive production with Great Falls later that year, as he slashed .316/.412/.419 with six doubles, two homers, 18 RBIs, 19 walks (13.8%) and 20 strikeouts (14.5%) in 35 games.
The 2019 season was a struggle in more ways than one for Troutwine. Offensively, his numbers slipped to .240/.341/.345 in 61 games as he hit 15 doubles, two homers, 14 walks (6.0%) and 31 strikeouts (13.3%).
While he scuffled with Kannapolis offensively, Troutwine’s struggles were much worse behind the plate. In 2018 in 34 games for the Voyagers, he committed just two passed balls; in 58 games in 2019 as a backstop for the Intimidators Troutwine committed a whopping 23. When you add 11 errors and just a 20.8% rate throwing out base stealers, it certainly was a year that Troutwine would like to forget. It’s certainly possible that his defensive miscues took their toll on his confidence on both sides of the ball.
Expect Troutwine to return to Kannapolis for 2021, but with a chance for promotion to Winston-Salem if he significantly reduces his defensive mistakes while improving his average. On the plus side, Troutwine’s .686 OPS in 2019 was the highest of the four system catchers who finished the year in A-ball.