By Steven S. Garcia
Chicago, IL-(ENEWSPF)- As we inch a little closer to a possible baseball season, the MLB Amateur Draft kicked off on Wednesday with the first round held in Secaucus, New Jersey.
With the 11th overall pick, the White Sox selected left-handed pitcher Garrett Crochet out of the University of Tennessee.
After originally being drafted by the Brewers in the 34th round out of high school in 2017, Crochet compiled a record 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA and 81 K’s in 65 innings for the Volunteers in his sophomore campaign and was named a first-team preseason All-American by Baseball America this year.
Due to soreness in his shoulder and the coronavirus, Crochet only had one appearance this year.
Crochet sports a 100-mph fastball, a slider with heavy movement, and a changeup. He’s already being compared to former Sox ace Chris Sale.
Crochet said, ‘‘I ended up right where I was supposed to end up. I’ve got an organization that believes in me. I’m definitely living out a dream right now. It’s something I’ve really worked hard for.’’
Crochet entered the draft rated the No. 11 college prospect by MLBPipeline.com and the No. 3 left-handed pitching prospect by Baseball America.
On the Northside of town, the Cubs used their 16th overall pick on hometown product Ed Howard out of Mount Carmel HS (Chicago).
Howard, a shortstop, was ranked between 11th and 20th in publications around the country and is the Cubs’ first high school player drafted in the first round since Albert Almora Jr. in 2012.
In his junior season, the Lynwood native batted .419 with three homeruns and drove in 29 runs.
Overall, Howard had a stellar career at Mount Carmel until his senior season was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Howard posted a .396 average with six homeruns and 59 RBI. He also posted a slash line of .478/.625/1.103.
Howard, as you may remember, was a member of the Jackie Robinson West Little League World Series team in 2014.
Howard is committed to the University of Oklahoma and won Gatorade’s Illinois Baseball Player of the Year award last season.
Howard said, “I want to go down as one of the best shortstops to ever play. “I want to be a great player on the field, and I also want to go down in history as a great person off the field.”