It is very rare for a baseball player, especially a pitcher, to get drafted and then play in the Major Leagues during the same season. It was large in part due to COVID-19 but that was the reality for Chicago White Sox pitcher Garrett Crochet in 2020. There wasn’t much of a college season so he was called up to the White Sox during the short 60 game season and he didn’t disappoint. In fact, he was probably the most electric arm on the team while he was there.
Of course, he hasn’t even come close to reaching the apex of Lucas Giolito, Dallas Keuchel, or Lance Lynn but he is certainly as talented. He has a lot of work to do before he is as successful as those guys but the tools are there. He can hit 100+ at ease and his breaking junk isn’t too easy to hit either. There is something about the way he pitches that is just exciting. Much like Michael Kopech, he has that wow factor that brings you out of your seat.
Crochet is projected to be a Major League starter throughout the prime of his career. That is all fine and dandy but in 2021 he is going to start in the bullpen. They are going to allow him to manage his innings at the early part of his career and ease him into the big moments. In 2020, he was coming out of the bullpen and did so well.
Crochet had six innings pitched over five games. He had 8 strikeouts, a 0.00 ERA, and a 0.500 WHIP. The sample size is incredibly small and those stats are still ridiculous. They aren’t ever going to stay that low because you couldn’t even have those stats on a video game. However, it is a good sign of what is to come from the flame-throwing lefty.
It is fair to expect some ups and downs from Crochet this year. He is still a very young pitcher that still has some work to do before he is a starter. You can expect some really good pitching from him in most games he plays in. He should have a respectable ERA and WHIP which should really help the White Sox bullpen as a whole.
With some of the names that could be behind him in the pen, the pressure should be light. When you have two starters that can be elite in the bullpen, you are a very deep baseball team. It might be something so unique to 2021 because we don’t know when they will make Crochet (and Kopech) a starter. Hopefully, the team is able to take advantage of this sweet situation.