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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 79: Gunnar Troutwine

After a rough 2019, this backstop roared back into prospect consideration with a superb 2021.

Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox

Gunnar Troutwine

220 pounds
Age: 26
2019 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 51
2021 SSS Top Prospect Ranking: 76
SSS rank among all catchers in the system: 5

Gunnar Troutwine enjoyed 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, Troutwine was selected by the White Sox in the ninth round of the 2018 draft. He continued his offensive production with Great Falls in his pro debut 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 produced 15 doubles, two homers, 14 walks (6.0%) and 31 strikeouts (13.3%). While he scuffled with Kannapolis offensively, his struggles were much worse behind the plate. In 2018 in 34 games for the Great Falls Voyagers, he committed just two passed balls; in 58 games as a backstop for the Intimidators during 2019, he 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 at the plate, as well.

Troutwine enjoyed a much better all-around season in 2021 after the lost pandemic season, as he spent the year with both Winston-Salem and Birmingham. Combined with both squads, he slashed .278/.385/.426 over 53 games. In Troutwine’s 200 at-bats, he hit 10 doubles and five homers while walking 27 times (13.5%) and striking out 50 (25.0%). Fatigue was not a factor for him this year, as he slashed an amazing .433/.538/.653 in September! Defensively, he reduced his passed balls from 23 to 10, reduced his error total to six, and stifled potential base stealers at a 32.3% clip.

With improvements all the way across the board, it’s easy to envision Troutwine in Birmingham for 2022, with a chance for promotion to Charlotte by season’s end if he continues his all-around improvement.

2022 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

79. Gunnar Troutwine, C
80. Kade Mechals, RHSP
81: Caberea Weaver, CF
82. Layant Tapia, SS
83. Homer Cruz, RHRP
84. Kaleb Roper, RHSP
85. Jerry Burke, RHSP
86. Emerson Talavera, RHRP
87. Isaiah Carranza, RHSP
88. Davis Martin, RHSP
89. Tyler Osik, 1B
90. Samil Polanco, 3B
91. Manuel Veloz, RHRP
92. Pauly Milto, RHRP
93. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
94. Colby Smelley, C
95. Manuel Guariman, C
96. Everhett Hazelwood, RHRP
97. Garrett Schoenle, LHRP
98. Kyle Kubat, LHRP
99. Anderson Comas, RF
100. Jake Elliott, RHRP