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White Sox Pick Garrett Crochet Earns Quick Chris Sale Comparisons

Image credit: Garrett Crochet (Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

As a lefthander with a low-slot delivery, a high-velocity fastball and a wipeout slider, Garrett Crochet has been compared to Chris Sale plenty of times.

Now that the White Sox have selected with the 11th pick of the 2020 draft, those comparisons are expected to get much louder.

Crochet, who ranked No. 15 in this year’s draft class, has dealt with injuries throughout his career and was limited to just three innings with Tennessee before the coronavirus pandemic caused the season to shut down.

Even so, he has an undeniably electric arsenal.

“The fastball is top of the charts,” White Sox scouting director Mike Shirley said on a Zoom call with the media after the selection was made.

“The slider is a wipeout at times. It’s a pitch that’s going to continue to develop for him—the shape is proper. The changeup is a pitch that we’re excited about though. The changeup is the pitch we’re excited about, though. He’s been able to execute against righthanders . . .

“We think that pitch is coming. I think Garrett as much as anybody has stressed how much that pitch is the next step in his process. If that process holds, then it’s a three-pitch weapon.”

When he’s right, Crochet’s results are undeniable. Scouting directors ranked his fastball as the best in this year’s college class, and his slider projects as plus. His 2020 season was delayed by shoulder soreness and then was held to just one start before the shutdown hit.

“At the beginning of the season I’d suffered a little bit of an injury in my shoulder—just a strained muscle,” Crochet said on the same Zoom call. “Now I’m getting with my trainer and (doing) stretching and plyometrics that he had set up for me and I’m feeling strong as ever. I’ve been throwing bullpens during this quarantine and keeping in shape as best I can so when time comes and a team’s ready for me to come—in this case the White Sox—I can be there for them.”

As for the comparisons to Sale, they’re nice, of course—Crochet admits that he used Sale’s slider as a bit of inspiration for his own—but the team would rather its newest prospect work on just being the best version of himself.

“Obviously, Sale’s someone … who will always be in White Sox history,” Shirley said. “I told Garrett Crochet that it’s an outstanding piece of your life to be compared to Chris Sale, but please proceed as being Garrett Crochet. It’s just a tough follow for anybody.”

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