With the 11th pick of the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft, the Chicago White Sox selected 20-year-old left-hander Garrett Crochet.
The Ocean Springs Mississippi native, who pitched for the University of Tennessee, stands at an imposing 6-foot-6 and weighs in at 218 pounds. His blazing fastball consistently sits between 95 and 97 miles-per-hour but tops a notch short of triple digits, which makes the change of speeds to his sweeping 84-86 mph slider even more devastating. He also possesses a solid changeup as his third pitch and a curveball that he’ll use on occasion.
Crochet only threw 3.1 innings during his pandemic shortened final year, and he struggled the year prior (4.02 ERA, 1.36 WHIP), but he clearly has the stuff to succeed at the big league level shortly. Because he was drafted by the White Sox, is a lefty who throws from a low arm angle, and has a nasty slider, comparisons to Chris Sale are natural, but mechanically he’s more similar to Madison Bumgarner.
The reasons he resembles Bumgarner more are mainly his arm slot, and body type, both of which are far more like Bumgarner than the lanky side-arming Sale.
In 2019, Crochet was struck in the jaw by a line drive, requiring surgery, but two weeks later he was back and ready to pitch again. This injury is important because it not only serves as a testament to his toughness and work ethic, but he also credits his diet and training changes that he had to make following this injury, as the main factor in his improvement going into his final season. MLB Pipeline ranked Crochet as the 19th-best prospect in this draft, in large part because of his lack of work during the 2020 season and subpar 2019, but you could easily argue that he deserves a much higher spot based on his elite stuff alone.
By any measure, the south siders seem to have gotten the real deal here with Garrett Crochet, look for him to have a serious impact on the White Sox staff in the next few years.