Even during a global pandemic and a season that hasn’t started yet, Major League Baseball had its 2020 first-year player draft on Wednesday night.
The White Sox picked 11th and as the draft moved along most players they were connected to seemed to be falling into place. When Reid Detmers went to the Angels at 10, the Sox had their pick of prep players Ed Howard and Mick Abel, along with college catcher Patrick Bailey all who they were linked to going into the draft.
Today, however rumors swirled earlier in the day that the Sox were leaning toward University of Tennessee left hander Garrett Crochet, and those rumors came true when they made him the number 11 overall selection in the draft.
Crochet drew early comparisons to other White Sox and former Sox pitchers like Carlos Rodon, Carson Fulmer, and the best of the three, Chris Sale.
At 6-6 he stands tall against left handed hitters and looks to take a fast track into the majors with some experts saying he can make the team this year.
A plus breaking ball and plus fastball with an impressive spin rate can play at any level, especially from the left side of the mound. Crochet did not pitch much in the last calendar year due to an injury and the 2020 season being canceled.
His best pitch from scouts is his fastball. Sitting at 65 grade on the 80 scale, a good fastball improves every other pitch. Then he has a great put out pitch in a slider that devastates hitters. Sound familiar? If Crochet can match his scouting report the Sox will have at best another top end starter and at worst another Andrew Miller to sure up the bullpen as soon as this season.
The Sox still have four picks to go in this draft and look to sure up the minor leagues in a season that may or may not happen. Going younger and getting more high school players to improve the depth of the minor leagues would not be a surprise for the rest of this draft.
Also, look for the Sox to be extremely active in the first year player free agency after the draft is completed.
Hopefully, the next big news coming out of MLB is an agreement with the Players Association and the fans have some games to watch and talk about come mid-July.
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