clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Mariners 2020 draft preview: LHP Garrett Crochet

Pitchers with the initials “GC” did pretty well in 2020, and the Tennessee lefty is no exception

COLLEGE BASEBALL: APR 13 Tennessee at LSU Photo by John Korduner/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In the last installment in this series, we noted that Baseball America recently completed a re-rank of the top high school players and top college players in the 2020 draft. [Side note: if you are looking for a holiday gift to give or request, and you’re reading this article, consider a Baseball America subscription. BA has long been the gold standard for minor-league baseball, and has coverage of the international market and amateur baseball you simply won’t find elsewhere.] We’ve been working our way through BA’s list of top collegians, and given the depth of the pitching class this year, it’s no surprise that the next name on the list is another pitcher from the SEC: lefty Garrett Crochet.

Crochet’s story is one some Mariners fans might find achingly familiar. On May 17, partway through a strong sophomore campaign for Tennessee, Crochet was struck in the face by a comebacker. For long-suffering Mariners fans, this might call to mind when then-top prospect D.J. Peterson was hit in the jaw by an errant pitch in 2013, requiring extensive reconstructive surgery.

Crochet was luckier; his injury also required surgery, with a plate inserted into his jaw and a complex system of rubber bands to keep his jaw aligned, but he was back on the mound two weeks later, seemingly unaffected:

Crochet is a little bit of an oddity, as most lefty pitchers are. His major is nuclear engineering, not exactly a creampuff course of study. He enjoys deploying MC Hammer .gifs on Twitter (in reference to “dropping the hammer” to put batters away). Oh, and in addition to being left-handed, he’s also 6’6” and has been in the mid-90s with his fastball this fall, making him one of the biggest risers on Baseball America’s list (up to #11 among collegians; FanGraphs has him #16 overall).

In addition to the fastball, Crochet also has a swing-and-miss slider, and a changeup he’s been putting in work on. As a sophomore, he struck out 81 batters in 65 innings while walking just 22, meriting him consideration for Team USA:

While Crochet didn’t make the 26-man roster, he impressed scouts enough at tryouts to earn some draft helium entering the fall, a promise he’s delivered on so far in a handful of exhibition games for the Vols this fall. Crochet might not have the cache of the other big names in the 2020 pitching class, but with his frame and stuff, he’s a potential fast riser if the secondaries round into form this season, and merits close monitoring as the college baseball season heats up in just a few short months.