With the 11th pick in the 2020 MLB Draft Wednesday night, The Chicago White Sox selected pitcher Garrett Crochet from the University of Tennessee. Crochet’s fastball has been clocked in the 100s and was vital in Tennessee’s first-ever victory in the NCAA tournament in 2019. Chicago adds another arm to a farm system that has suffered from a rash of significant injuries to key pitchers that the team was high on.
During his time at Tennessee, Crochet started in 11 of the 17 games he played in as a freshman. He posted a 5.51 ERA along with 62 strikeouts. In his sophomore year, Crochet appeared in 18 games, compiling a 5-3 record with a 4.02 ERA. His most impressive stat was that he recorded 81 strikeouts in 66 innings pitched in 2019. The left-hander missed the first three weeks of this year with arm soreness and was only able to appear in just one game before the season abruptly came to an end due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Crochet throws with a 3/4 arm angle and has a similar makeup to that of former White Sox All-Star Chris Sale. Similar to Sale, the Tennessee pitcher has a hard slider to compliment his triple-digit fastball. Depending on how he develops, the White Sox could move Crochet into a starter’s role later on as the team has no homegrown left-handed starters on the major league roster except for pitcher Carlos Rodon.
Crochet is the first pitcher selected by the White Sox in the first round since 2016 when the team selected reliever Zack Burdi. Projected as a reliever to begin his career, the Volunteers’ pitcher has the potential to quickly rise through minors and could make his major league debut at the end of this year if not next season. Chicago is in need of left-handed starting pitchers as the team has lacked an prominent left-handed pitching prospects in their system.