The first day of workouts are in the books from Mariners Spring Training, but we continue to look ahead to the most important draft in GM Jerry Dipoto‘s tenure.
The Seattle Mariners own the 6th overall pick in the upcoming 2020 MLB Draft. They’ll have no shortage of options, with a veritable cornucopia of profiles and players from which to choose. But which direction will the go?
The smart money is probably going to be placed on starting pitching and more specifically, college starting pitching. If last year’s draft is any indication, the Mariners are going to prioritize collegiate arms in the upcoming draft. Now, obviously things change drastically from year to year and if the best player on their board with the 6th pick isn’t a college arm, they should absolutely take that player.
But part of any team’s evaluation of draft prospects should be influenced by what the strength of your player development staff is. And right now, the team’s greatest strength appears to be in pitching development. Which brings us to today’s draft prospect profile.
Garrett Crochet is a hard-throwing, left-handed pitcher from the University of Tennesee. Crochet is well put together, standing at 6’6″, 220 lbs. But if pitching success was tied directly to how impressive your physique was, CC Sabathia is just a guy you’ve never heard of.
But Crochet not only backs up the impressive size, but his stuff has the potential to land him in the “Ace” tier of pitchers in a handful of years. Crochet’s fastball sat between 92-95 last spring, with reports that he sat at 96-100 for most of fall ball. Crochet also has the ability to spin his fastball at near-elite spin rates, making his already impressive pitch play up even more.
With a potential 80-grade fastball, Crochet doesn’t need much more than a couple of average offerings to make him at least a solid #3 type of starter. And as luck would have it, Crochet has just that. In fact, his changeup is already considered well-above-average, and some believe it can become his second plus offering.
The slider also produces above-average spin rates and is thrown with good depth at 82-85 MPH. Crochet’s long limbs creat angle issues for hitters, making him difficult to square up. He is a good athlete, has a clean delivery, and does a nice job of throwing strikes.
But while he can pound the strike zone, he isn’t exactly painting the corners and must improve his command to reach his full potential. If he can do that and maintain the velocity jump this spring, he should have no problem getting selected inside the Top 10. Crochet certainly has those James Paxton vibes, hopefully without the injury concerns.