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2020 MLB Draft Prep: Garret Crochet vs. Asa Lacy

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A comparison of two college arms and other info on draft prospects for this June.

Garret Crochet
Caleb Jones/Tennessee Athletics

I’m not a fan of doing mock drafts. To represent doing a mock implies quite a bit more knowledge of how specific front offices will make decisions up against a live clock than I have. I don’t have any sort of accurate gauge on pitcher/hitter or prep/college preference for at least half the teams in the league. Nonetheless, at some point, teams have to make long-term decisions on information acquired leading up to the selection process every June. Sometimes the players atop the respective boards are very similar. Today I look at two rather similar pitchers who the Cubs will assess through the college season that begins next Friday: Tennessee’s Garrett Crochet and Texas A&M’s Asa Lacy.

Both Crochet and Lacy are lefties who toss in the SEC, though the 6-foot 4 Lacy is in the West and the 6-foot 5 Crochet in the East. I’ll agree with Fangraphs that they’re awfully tightly bunched from a draft perspective. I’d put forth that there’s barely a doily’s worth of difference between two guys that may be on the board for the Cubs at 16. Crochet is ranked with a slightly better fastball and change. Lacy is preferred regarding the curve and slider.

Crochet, drafted by the Brewers in 2017 in Round 34, started the 2019 season quite well, but faded a bit late. Through 65 innings, he surrendered 67 hits, fanning 81 and walking 22. The Ocean Springs, Mississippi native figures to be the Volunteers’ Friday night guy this season. Lacy was drafted in Round 31 by Cleveland in 2017, and is from Kerrville, Texas. Lacy’s 88 innings led to only 49 hits, and led to 130 strikeouts with 43 walks. Lacy’s 2019 ERA was 2.13, versus Crochet’s 4.02.

As you try on your handy general manager’s cap, which one interests you more? The guy with the better velocity on his fastball, or the guy with the better repertoire and college numbers? Whom do you prefer, and why?

2020 video, production, health, and results figure to split the difference between Crochet and Lacy in the draft run-up. The best look at Crochet before SEC play begins might be in the Round Rock Classic, where Crochet figures to oppose the always-challenging Texas Tech Red Raiders on February 21. The next weekend, Lacy’s Aggies get the Fighting Illini on Friday night in the Frisco Classic. (For the record, I still think the Cubs ought to have a college tournament on the weekend college baseball starts.) Both Crochet and Lacy will play before plenty of highly-placed talent evaluators this spring. Your opinions are of great interest to me, at least up until the time the Cubs selection is announced.

Here is video of Crochet:

And some video of Lacy:

My preference is for Lacy, as I still prefer repertoire to two pitches. I wouldn’t object to either, yet, though. The 14+4 is mildly updated this week, mainly to add a few names to look up. I still recommend you find a game to watch or listen to on the weekend of the 14th or 15th. Whether you use computer access, what your TV networks show, or an actual preference for a team is up to you.

The 14

Player Position School
Player Position School
Austin Martin Shortstop Vanderbilt
Emerson Hancock Righthanded pitcher Georgia
Spencer Torkelson First base Arizona State
Mick Abel Righthanded pitcher Jesuit HS (OR)
Austin Hendrick Right field West Allegheny HS (PA)
Nick Gonzales Second base New Mexico State
Jordan Walker Third base Decatur HS (GA)
Ted Ginn Righthanded pitcher Mississippi State
Nick Bitsko Righthanded pitcher Central Bucks East HS (PA)
Robert Hassell Center field Independence HS (TN)
Jared Kelley Righthanded pitcher Refugio HS (TX)
Asa Lacy Lefthanded pitcher Texas A&M
Garrett Crochet Lefthanded pitcher Tennessee
Heston Kjerstad Right field Arkansas

The +4

Player Position School
Player Position School
Patrick Bailey Catcher North Carolina State
Casey Martin Infield Arkansas
Garrett Mitchell Outfield UCLA
Zac Veen Center field Spruce Creek HS (FL)

Poll

Who do you prefer, Asa Lacy or Garret Crochet?

This poll is closed

  • 56%
    I’d prefer Lacy.
    (29 votes)
  • 11%
    I’d prefer Crochet
    (6 votes)
  • 21%
    They’re both good, so far.
    (11 votes)
  • 7%
    Yeccch. Get me a bat, instead.
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Arms are fine, but not them.
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Other. Include specifics below.
    (0 votes)
51 votes total Vote Now

The Fangraphs list gets the honors this week. The Cubs are slated to select 51st and 90th, pending any Red Sox punishment-based edits upcoming. Cole Henry (LSU) and Tommy Mace (Florida) are tall right-handed pitchers from the SEC that would make a bit of sense if they slip to the Cubs at 51, if form holds. SEC outfielders Daniel Cabrera (LSU) and Zach DeLoach (Texas A&M) occupy the 50th and 51st spots on the list. It’s almost like you’re safe to watch some quality pro prospects if you watch SEC baseball. I would concur.

For the 91st (or so) pick, Trenton Denholm (UC Irvine) is a bit of a lower-velocity with repertoire guy like the Cubs collected by the bushel-basketful. Nick Frasso (Loyola Marymount) is more the guy with MPH on the fastball. Nick Loftin (Baylor) is the middle-infielder the Cubs like to load up on to trade. Below the bump are the toolsy outfielder Hudson Haskin from Tulane and switch-hitting first baseman Aaron Sabato from North Carolina. The draft looks reasonably deep for the Cubs, but also for at least 27 other teams, and all four division rivals. Getting two of the first three to be “paint” would seem a rather wise idea in Dan Kantrovitz’ first draft with the club.

***

Here’s a longer-term poser for you. Lefty Douglas Nikhazy is a sophomore pitcher for Mississippi. News broke on Monday about Nikhazy, who will be a 2021 Draft choice.

How would a DUI charge against a player sway your willingness to draft him?

Poll

Would a DUI get you to drop a player down your hypothetical draft board?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    Possibly a bit.
    (7 votes)
  • 65%
    Character is a long-term question. A DUI would be one piece of the puzzle, only.
    (34 votes)
  • 13%
    I wouldn’t want him as a Cubs prospect.
    (7 votes)
  • 5%
    Still thinking.
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (1 vote)
52 votes total Vote Now