Left-Handed Starting Pitcher
SSS rank among all left-handed starting pitchers in the system: 1
2021 SSS Top Prospect Vote: 2
OK, maybe it was just this author who didn’t know it then. But spending an 11th overall pick on a guy who battled injury and simply “hadn’t done much” at the college level seemed quite a stretch. Not sure I’ve ever been so wrong.
In a word: WOW. Crochet was burdened by Chris Sale upon being drafted, and now looks like he could put them in the rearview mirror.
After impressing with easy heat at the alternate site in Schaumburg after signing last summer, Crochet was called up with 11 days left in the season. I don’t think it’s unfair to say no one had a clue of what we were about to see.
In the course of one week — five games, 22 batters, 85 pitches — Crochet was essentially perfect, crafting a 0.00 ERA, 1.02 FIP, 0.500 WHIP. Oh, and 45 of them were 100 mph-plus!
MORE THAN HALF OF THE PITCHES CROCHET THREW WERE TRIPLE-DIGITS!
The only negative from an incandescent mini-season was a brief injury scare Crochet suffered in the wild card series vs. Oakland. Whether a product of rushing to get warm or simply super paranoia about hurting the best arm to arrive on the South Side in at least 10 years, Crochet was rushed out of a relief appearance amid talk of “forearm soreness.”
The soreness later was said to be just that, not a harbinger of disaster.
Crochet’s ability is inhuman. Pair it with a sort of aw-shucks modesty that, oh, that Sale guy drafted a decade earlier had, and he’s an ideal piece of this rising White Sox club.
And enjoy him on this list his first and only time, because Crochet is breaking camp with the White Sox and should easily surpass rookie limits this year, even on a ~100ish innings limit.
Crochet is still listed here as a starter in spite of his relief role. The White Sox see him starting long-term, so we’re not going to budge on that, either. But whether he’s the top left-handed starter prospect of the top left-handed reliever prospect, Crochet is just the tops, unlike anything we’ve ever seen.
If you want to feel the excitement of Crochet’s (six 100 mph-plus pitches, of 13 total!) debut in Cincinnati last year, take a look at our postgame coverage of Crochet at Sports Illustrated.