White Sox: First-rounder Garrett Crochet is coming to the big leagues

SCHAUMBURG, IL - JULY 30: Garrett Crochet of the Chicago White Sox pitches during an MLB taxi squad workout on July 30, 2020 at Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg, Illinois. Crochet was selected 11th overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft as their first round draft pick. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
SCHAUMBURG, IL - JULY 30: Garrett Crochet of the Chicago White Sox pitches during an MLB taxi squad workout on July 30, 2020 at Boomers Stadium in Schaumburg, Illinois. Crochet was selected 11th overall by the Chicago White Sox in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft as their first round draft pick. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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The Chicago White Sox were promoting their first-round draft choice, Garrett Crochet.

Evan Marshall has been a valuable piece in the Chicago White Sox bullpen this season. When he landed on the 10-day injured list with shoulder inflammation the White Sox did something they haven’t done in recent years. They broke the emergency glass to use a top prospect to help fill a hole on the big league roster.

The White Sox have been slow to promote top prospects such as Yoan Moncada, Eloy Jimenez, Luis Robert, and Nick Madrigal in years past, in an effort to see them develop and manipulate service time. That is not the case this season. The Sox are trying to win now and with a playoff spot already locked up, they have the luxury of seeing if their first-round pick can make an immediate impact.

Garret Crochet has all of the tools to do just that. The 6- foot 6 southpaws out of the University of Tennessee throws heat. His fastball ranges anywhere from 96-101 mph with a high spin rate. That is a great combo to draw swings and misses. According to MLB.com, a Baseball America poll of MLB scouting departs picked Crochet as the college pitcher with the best fastball in the draft. To complement his fastball he also throws an above-average changeup and a solid slider.

Crochet is also a fierce competitor. During the last start of his Sophomore season at Tennessee, Crochet was drilled in the face with a line drive and suffered a broken jaw. Two weeks later he was back on the mound dominating in the NCAA Tournament. He threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four, and led the Vols to their first tournament win since 2005.

He has drawn comparisons to Chris Sale, another tall left-handed pitcher who used to pitch on the southside. Sale was drafted by the White Sox in 2010 and was pitching out of the White Sox bullpen a couple of months later. After rushing to obtain Sale’s services things turned out pretty well for both sides as he eventually developed into the ace of the staff.  Like Sale, Crochet has also been rushed to the majors and the White Sox hope for similar results.

The problem is he has only made one start in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. He has been pitching in Schaumburg but has not seen live game action in quite some time and has never faced a major league hitter. He has not even faced a minor league hitter. That is a daunting task for a kid fresh out of college. While the White Sox see him as a starting pitcher long term, he figures to be in the bullpen for the remainder of 2020. They are optimistic his stuff will play at the major league level regardless of his experience.

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Marshall should be back by next weekend but that doesn’t mean Crochet won’t be on the active roster. “We want to see what he has to offer over the course of the next 10 days,” Rick Hahn said. As the White Sox try to close in on their first division title since 2008 they hope Crochet will be able to provide a boost.

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