Crochet 2nd in 100+ mph pitches in just 6 IP

September 27th, 2020

has only been up with the White Sox since Sept. 18, and he’s already thrown the second-most 100 mph pitches in the Majors this year. The hard-throwing lefty made headlines for being the first player to appear in the Majors the year he was drafted since Brandon Finnegan in 2014, but once he set foot on the mound, all eyes -- and storylines -- have been on Crochet's velocity.

Through his appearance on Saturday night, Crochet has thrown 45 pitches of at least 100 mph in just six innings this season. The only pitcher with more 100 mph pitches is the Dodgers’ Brusdar Graterol, with 47 in 22 1/3 innings.

Kansas City’s Josh Staumont has 36 and starter Jacob deGrom is in fourth with 33 such pitches after his final start of the season on Saturday. Staumont has thrown 25 2/3 innings, and deGrom threw 68.

Crochet, Chicago's No. 4 prospect, has thrown 85 pitches this season. That means 52.9% of his offerings have been clocked at 100 mph or faster. The only pitchers with a higher percentage of 100-plus mph pitches (min. 50 pitches) in the pitch-tracking era (since 2008) are Aroldis Chapman in 2016 (58.3%), Mauricio Cabrera in '16 (54.8%) and Chapman in '14 (53.2%).

All of this is a relatively recent phenomenon for the White Sox lefty.

"Looking back on myself as a young baseball player, I was never the guy that threw hard, and now I do, so it’s pretty cool," Crochet said. "But just really the thing that I’m out there doing is trying to throw with conviction and throw through the mitt, and it’s kind of gone hand in hand with throwing hard right now.”

Crochet’s 45 100-plus mph pitches already rank second among White Sox pitchers in the pitch-tracking era, behind only Nate Jones’ 104 -- which he accumulated over eight seasons with the club.

Of course, 100 is an attention-grabbing number, but it’s also worth noting that if we lower that qualifier just slightly, to 99 mph, Crochet's totals are even more gaudy. Of his 85 Major League pitches, 69 have been at 99-plus mph -- that’s 81.2%.

That is by far the highest percentage of pitches at 99 mph by a pitcher with at least 50 pitches in a season in the pitch-tracking era. The prior high was 73.3% by Henry Rodriguez in 2009. The only other pitcher with even 70% of his pitches at 99-plus in a season was Chapman in 2016, with 71%.

Crochet added 15 more 100-plus mph pitches on Saturday night because he went two innings for the first time in his career, a sign of his versatility for the White Sox heading into the playoffs.