Left-Handed Relief Pitcher
SSS rank among all left-handed relief pitchers in the system: 10
A native of Fort Wayne, Garrett Schoenle’s father played shortstop for IPFW. Garrett inherited some of that athleticism, and became the Northrop High School football’s all-time leader in passing yards and completions. However, it was as a pitcher that he attracted the most suitors. In fact, his baseball prowess was so good that he was the 2017 Gatorade Indiana High School Baseball Player of the Year. It’s no wonder that many Division I schools recruited him, and he was selected in the 30th round by the Cincinnati Reds in that year’s MLB draft. While Schoenle did opt to play ball for Cincinnati, it was not to play for the Reds but to don the uniform of the University of Cincinnati Bearcats.
After a nine-inning freshman campaign in 2018, Schoenle lost the concept of the strike zone in 2019, as he walked 55 in 56 innings on his way to a 5.95 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. He was off to a bad start as a junior in 2020 with an 8.76 ERA and 1.78 WHIP in four appearances (two starts) before the pandemic concluded the season prematurely. However, Schoenle bounced back somewhat in his senior season in 2021, as he posted a 4.90 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in 15 starts. Over 75 1⁄3 innings for the Bearcats, he allowed 78 hits (.264 OBA) and just 24 walks (7.3%) while fanning 89 (26.9%). After going unpicked in this year’s limited, 20-round draft, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the White Sox.
Used primarily as a starter in college, Schoenle was thrust into the bullpen for the ACL Sox. In 10 appearances totaling the same number of innings, Schoenle posted a 2.70 ERA and 1.40 WHIP by surrendering 11 hits (.297 OBA) and three walks (7.3%) while inducing 11 strikeouts (26.8%). Somewhat surprisingly in the small sample size, lefties hit Schoenle much better (.364) than righties (.269).
According to a scouting report provided by Prep Baseball Report in March, “he has a loose and quick arm, shows a fastball up to 95 mph and a good breaking ball. He controls the running game and profiles as a starting pitcher at the next level.”
It remains to be seen if the relief innings this year were designed to simply keep Schoenle’s innings down, as he’d already exceeded his career high in that regard. If the White Sox consider him a starter, he likely would begin with Kannapolis; if Schoenle’s best future is deemed that of a reliever, he could begin 2022 with a jump to more age-appropriate Winston-Salem instead.