Every good team gets a few surprise performances that impact the future. One of those for the Chicago White Sox was the play of Matt Foster during the 2020 season. It was a short season because of the COVID-19 pandemic but Foster made a name for himself in that short amount of time. It was a lot of fun to watch as he is now part of the plans going forward.
Foster was taken in the 20th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. That is pretty low for a player who ended up being this good. He came from the University of Alabama where he played his college baseball ahead of being drafted.
In 2020, he was used as a starter and a reliever. He made two starts and the rest were all as a reliever. You can even claim that he was more of an “opener” rather than a starter in the two that he did start. He did end the season with a nice 6-1 record. He had an ERA of 2.20, a WHIP of 0.872, and 31 strikeouts over 28.2 innings. He appeared in 23 games which is a decent amount based on the 2020 circumstances.
It looks like he is going to be one of the middle relief pitchers that the White Sox use a lot in 2021. He is surrounded by some awesome arms so he will be a part of a very good bullpen. With the way this team is set up going into the year, it is pretty clear that Foster isn’t in the plans to make any starts. It is more likely that Garrett Crochet of Michael Kopech makes that move from the bullpen to the rotation but it is nice to know that Foster can if needed.
Expect some really good play from Foster this year. His 2021 projections are not nearly as nice on most sites as his actual 2020 numbers but that is all noise. He isn’t much of a well-known name outside of the White Sox community so it makes sense that he wouldn’t get that respect just yet. If he repeats the same type of season this year, he is going to start getting more noticed across the game.
If he can keep his ERA around three over the course of the whole season, the White Sox would probably appreciate that. On days that Kopech and Crochet are off, you will probably see Foster in the mix with guys like Evan Marshall and Codi Heuer. It is a really nice group and Foster should be excited to be a part of it.