When the White Sox selected Garrett Crochet (Crow-Shay) with the eleventh overall pick yesterday, they were picking someone with huge upside. Many analysts said afterwards that the left-handed pitcher might have the best stuff in the entire draft.
One look at Crochet and it’s easy to see why.
Standing at an imposing 6’6, Crochet possesses the size, handedness, and filth that scouts dream about. He has the best fastball in the entire draft, per numerous scouts, a slider that rivals Chris Sale and Andrew Miller, and a fading changeup that sounds like it is much more advanced than it’s getting credit for.
So why did he slip to 11th overall? Well, there are 2 main reasons. The first being his short track record. Crochet only made 36 appearances while at Tennessee. Obviously the corona virus was a big factor in that this year, but he also has a little bit of an injury history (that would be the second reason). Nothing too alarming however. He broke his jaw on a comebacker in his sophomore year (although he pitched 5 days later and got the win, a testament to his toughness), and was held out at the beginning of this season for precautionary reasons about his shoulder.
Some are worried about his delivery, and it makes sense as to why. It is eerily similar to Chris Sale’s 3/4 side arm/sling motion. But since Sale was able to stay healthy through nearly all of his prime, the White Sox must feel comfortable they can keep Crochet healthy too.
I truly believe that if the college baseball season hadn’t been cancelled due to the pandemic, Crochet would have gone in the top 5-8 range. It wasn’t until last fall that his name really started popping up. That was due to the uptick in his velocity and the development of his changeup. Obviously, we never got to see that full arsenal this year besides 1 short outing in which he struck out 6 in 3.1 innings. Regardless, the Sox liked him enough to take him at 11.
If Crochet stays healthy, I think his floor is a very good bullpen arm, potentially as a closer. His ceiling is a frontline starter, but I could easily see him used as an Andrew Miller/Josh Hader type of weapon as well. If that winds up being the case, it would be more than fine with me. Regardless, Sox fans should be thrilled with the upside here. Now that the team in Chicago *should* be competitive, they can afford to take some risks on players with boom/bust potential as opposed to the high floor type players they’ve taken in recent years.
When baseball comes back in 2020 (yes it will come back), there will be expanded rosters from the get go. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Crochet is pitching for the White Sox in 2020 out of the bullpen. His stuff can get major league hitters out right now. We could also see him in Spring Training 2.0 once baseball gets the official green light to return.
All in all, Garrett Crochet is a very exciting pick for the White Sox. The upside he offers was too great to pass up in the end. If he stays healthy, he could be a lethal weapon coming out of the bullpen, or if he refines his command a bit more, he could be starting in a few years. Either way, I love the pick and can’t wait to see what he can do.