MIDLAND It was little surprise that the Midland RockHounds had a catcher selected to the Texas League All-Star Game.
The only question for much of the first half of the season was, which one?
Collin Theroux and Jonah Heim split time through most of the first two months of play, often switching off between catcher and designated hitter as both enjoyed productive starts to the season. That came to an end when Heim was promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas on June 9, leaving Theroux as the RockHounds’ everyday catcher and an eventual all-star selection for the South Division.
The Texas League All-Star Game is scheduled for Tuesday at Tulsa’s ONEOK Field.
“On a personal level, it means a lot,” Theroux said of the selection. “This is my first one since I’ve been in pro ball. Having a good offseason, a good spring training and getting to see a good body of work due to that is a good feeling. The goal is to put together a complete season, but it’s nice to have a good first half.”
Theroux, who had his own brief promotion to Las Vegas in May, batted .250 in the first half, shared the team lead with seven home runs and had 21 RBIs. Defensively, he has thrown out 10 baserunners.
RockHounds manager Scott Steinmann said Theroux, a 32nd-round draft pick out of San Joaquin Delta Community College in 2016, is close to being the total package for a catcher.
“Collin has had his struggles hitting this year, but after a few seasons now has really kind of come into his own as a hitter,” Steinmann said. His power, I think he is probably one of the best power hitters in the league (.440 slugging percentage, .783 OPS).
“To have him be able to do that and be instrumental behind the plate — he’s a defensive wizard back there catching and throwing and blocking — I think he’s one of the reasons we had a good first half.”
Theroux said it’s just a matter of putting everything together both at and behind the plate.
“I think having a more complete first half at the plate, especially getting off to a better start,” he said. “It’s dipped a little bit here the last couple of series, but I think getting off to a good start has helped me sustain some good numbers.”
Theroux said being an all-star just adds to what has already been a season full of memories.
“I personally love some of our bus rides home,” he said. “It’s kind of like a nice time to unwind after a series and just kind of let the good times roll a little bit.
“You hang out with the boys and watch funny movies and talk about it and eat some weird stuff at gas stations in the middle of nowhere. Those are the kid of things I’ll hold on to more than an in-game moment.”