REPORT: Former Tennessee Vols hurler becomes first MLB starting pitcher in 123 years to reach incredible feat

The Chicago White Sox probably wish they had put former Tennessee Vols hurler Garrett Crochet on the mound as a starter a long time before they did.

The former Vol, in his first season as a starting pitcher for the Chicago White Sox isn’t just having an All-Star season.  Not just a starting-pitcher-in-the-All-Star-game type of season.  Heck, not even just a Cy Young Award season.  He should absolutely be at the top of the list for all of those honors.

What he’s done across his first 18 career starts during the 2024 season is something that no pitcher has accomplished in well over a century.  According to the Chicago White Sox, Crochet is the first pitcher since 1901 to record 140 strikeouts while allowing 20 walks or less over his first 18 career starts.

Crochet’s stat line through those 18 games as of July 6 reads 18 starts, 6-6 record, 3.02 ERA, 140 strikeouts, 20 walks, and a 0.92 WHIP mark (walks and hits combined per inning pitched).  His 140 strikeouts lead the American League and his 12.5 strikeouts per 9 innings average leads all of Major League Baseball.  He’s also the American League leader in FIP (a number measuring avoidance of home runs, walks, and hit batters compared to strikeouts) at 2.37.

Crochet was drafted in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft by the White Sox, with whom he appeared in 72 games as a reliever from 2020-2023.  He improved his draft stock after a strong 2019 season that saw him post a 4.02 ERA with 81 strikeouts to 22 walks over 18 appearances as the Vols made their first regional in Tony Vitello’s tenure.  Crochet made one start in 2020 before the season was shut down due to COVID, later opting for the draft.

Crochet’s efforts have been largely wasted this year by a White Sox team that’s posted a league-worst 26-64 record just ahead of the All Star break.  As such, Crochet is becoming one of the most talked about players among the MLB trade rumor mills churning online.

We’ll find out when the deadline passes on July 31 if Crochet will continue his record-setting season in the Windy City, or if the former Vol will be off to a new home with a contender vying for a championship.

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