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South Side Sox Top Prospect No. 55: Troy Claunch

A catcher with solid game-calling skills and leadership to boot

The injury bug bit Troy Claunch in 2023.
| 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: 25
2022 High Level Charlotte (Triple-A)
Age relative to high level -2.3 years
SSS rank among all catchers in the system 6
Overall 2023 stats 47 games ⚾️ 4 HR ⚾️ 21 RBI ⚾️ .186/.305/.303 ⚾️ 21 BB ⚾️ 32 K ⚾️ 21-of-77 (27.2%) CS

The White Sox signed Troy Claunch 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. Clutch Claunch, as he is known, is a strong leader has been 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 an All-Pac 12 First Team member.

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 his advertised pop.

Behind the plate, he fared better, as Claunch did not make a single error at catcher in 73 innings. 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 started the 2023 season in Kannapolis, where he spent 29 out of only a total of 47 games for the season. Due to injury, he missed about six weeks throughout June and July. After a four-game rehabilitation stint in the ACL, he returned to the Cannon Ballers, and the Sox promoted him to the Dash in August, where he saw action in 11 games. In September, he vaulted right over Birmingham to end the season with a two-game cup of coffee at Charlotte. There, with a promotion based on short-term need and not merit, he went 1-for-4 with three strikeouts.

Offensively, Claunch struggled mightily in 2023, possibly due in large part to injury. He saw the most success in Winston-Salem, where he slashed .214/.333/.464 with two home runs and seven RBIs in seven games. Behind the dish, he fared better, amassing a .983 fielding percentage, making six errors over 331 innings.

Claunch’s Baseball Cube player ratings
Durability 65
RBIs 61
Hitting 59
Contact 58
Power 43
XBH 39
Runs 28
Speed 22

The White Sox have a few catching prospects in the queue ahead of Claunch, but with a healthy year 2024, we can better see where he ranks among Korey Lee, Edgar Quero, and Adam Hackenberg. Look to find the backstop getting to Birmingham at some point in 2024.

2024 South Side Sox Top 100 White Sox Prospects

55. Troy Claunch, C
56. Edrick Felix, 2B
57. Gabriel Rodríguez, RHSP
58. Edgar Navarro, RHRP
59. Lucas Gordon, LHSP
60. Andrew Pérez, LHRP
61. Javier Mogollon, 2B
62. Aldrin Batista, RHSP
63. Ryan Castillo, 1B
64. Bryce Willits, 3B
65. Colby Smelley, C
66. Wes Kath, 3B
67. Alsander Womack, 2B
68. Jordan Sprinkle, SS
69. Connor McCullough, RHSP
70. Luis Rodriguez, RHRP
71. Jonah Scolaro, LHRP
72. Ben Beutel, LHRP
73. Stiven Flores, C
74. Adrian Gil, 1B
75. Yohemy Nolasco, RHRP
76. Ben Norman, LF
77. Josimar Cousín, RHSP
78. Juan Gonzalez, C
79. Chris Lanzilli, LF
80. Alex Speas, RHRP
81. Fraser Ellard, LHRP
82. Garrett Wright, RHRP
83. Duke Ellis, CF
84. Mathias LaCombe, RHRP
85. Godwin Bennett, RF
86. Rikuu Nishida, LF
87. Caden Connor, LF
88. Zach Franklin, RHRP
89. Jeremy González, LHSP
90. Jerry Burke, RHRP
91. Frankeli Arias, LHSP
92. Mikey Kane, 3B
93. Carlton Perkins, RHSP
94. Tyler Neslony, LF
95. Drew Dalquist, RHSP
96. Jason Matthews, SS
97. Jonathan Stiever, RHSP
98. Tommy Sommer, LHSP
99. Daniel González, LHRP
100. Eduardo Herrera, 3B

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