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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 79: Troy Claunch

A catcher with leadership and offensive abilities is never a bad thing to have in your system

Troy Claunch made a nice 2022 impact, especially given his UDFA status.
Tiffany Wintz/South Side Sox
Melissa Sage-Bollenbach is a die-hard White Sox fan and Mom of two incredible kids! She also has a Cubby hubby, but it’s OK because he likes the Sox. She went to the first Field of Dreams game, and it was the best baseball experience she's ever had!

Troy Claunch
210 pounds
Age: 24
2022 High Level Kannapolis (High-A)
Age relative to high level +2.3 years
SSS rank among all catcher in the system 5
Overall 2022 stats 19 games ⚾️ 0 HR ⚾️ 7 RBI ⚾️ .275/.390/.304 ⚾️ 12 BB ⚾️ 19 K ⚾️ 5-of-17 (29.4%) CS

The White Sox signed this 24-year-old catcher as an undrafted free agent on July 31, 2022. Claunch played four seasons of college baseball at Oregon State, and a redshirt (2020 season pandemic cancellation) fifth year at Texas A&M.

He is viewed as a high-floor player with solid game-calling skills, and has some above-average pop in his bat. Clutch Claunch, as he is known, was a strong leader and well-loved by both coaches and teammates. His combined college slash line was .291/.373/.405, with a .778 OPS in 187 games. As a junior in 2021, he was a member of the All-Pac 12 First Team.

Defensively, Claunch hovers about league average. However, in his last college season at College Station, he excelled behind the plate, having caught 12 runners stealing during Texas A&M’s run to the College World Series. Texas A&M reached college baseball’s Final Four before being defeated by Oklahoma.

In August 2022, the White Sox assigned Claunch to the Arizona Complex League (ACL). He played in just four games in the ACL, performing well with a line of .400/.625/.500 before being promoted to Single-A Kannapolis. Claunch struggled a bit in his 15 games with the Cannon Ballers, hitting .254/.333/.271 and a .604 OPS, with little of the pop that was forecasted.

Defensively he fared better, as he did not make a single error in 73 innings at catcher. However, the rules in the minors for 2022 that skewed an advantage toward base-runners did affect Claunch’s SB-thwarting efforts, nabbing just 29.4% of runners.

Claunch’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 70
Hitting 69
RBIs 62
Contact 54
Power 44
XBH 36
Runs 31
Speed 26
Team Winning Percentage .672

Claunch could start the 2023 season again with Kannapolis, at least briefly. But his advanced age at a low level will not serve him well, and given his mature game it is more likely Claunch starts in High-A Winston-Salem. If he can rediscover some of the offensive pop that propelled him throughout his college career, it’s possible that he may find himself moving up quickly in the White Sox system.

2023 South Side Sox Top 104 White Sox Prospects

79. Troy Claunch, C
80. Brooks Gosswein, LHSP
81. Tim Elko, 1B
82. Yoelvín Silven, RHRP
83. Trey Jeans, LHRP
84. Jerry Burke, RHSP
85. Carlos Jiménez, 1B
86. Mason Adams, RHSP
87. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
88. Ernesto Jaquez, RHSP
89. Laz Rivera, 3B
90. Xavier Fernández, C
91. Álvaro Agüero, CF
92. Ben Norman, RF
93. Erick Bello, RHRP
94. Adisyn Coffey, RHRP
95. Arnold Prado, RF
96. Alsander Womack, 2B
97. Johan Domínguez, RHSP
98. Evan Skoug, C
99. Noah Owen, RHSP
100. Javier Mora, 2B
101. Will Kincanon, RHRP
102. Yohemy Nolasco, RHSP
103. Billy Seidl, RHRP
104. José Rodulfo, RHRP