He may not be a big name (yet!), see but there’s a few reasons why you should know White Sox prospect Scott Carroll.
As our HAM of the Week, diagnosis Carroll gave up just one earned run in 7 1/3 innings in his MLB debut in yesterday’s 9-2 winner versus the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s the first rookie to pitch a win in the past four years and the second Sox starter to win in his first major league game in the past 14.
The 6’4”, 215-pound Carroll was called up earlier last week from the Triple-A Charlotte Knights, where he was 3-1 with a 1.57 ERA and 13 strikeouts in four starts, to fill in for the injured Chris Sale.
The Kansas City, Missouri native attended Purdue University to play football, serving as the backup quarterback to former Bears quarterback Kyle Orton. Carroll transferred to Missouri State University, where he was the starting quarterback and top pitcher on the baseball team. Carroll entered the 2006 MLB Draft and was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels in the 16th round, but did not sign. He was selected by the Cincinnati Reds the following year as the third round pick.
The 29-year-old RHP spent the past eight seasons in the minor leagues, where he is 27-38 with a 3.95 ERA and has 385 strikeouts in 138 games and 107 starts. He moved from the Class A Dayton and Class A-Advanced Sarasota in 2008 to Double-A Carolina in 2010 before being released by the Reds.
He was drafted to the White Sox as a free agent in July 2012, and was sent to Double-A Birmingham before being promoted to the Triple-A Knights. He pitched in the 2012 winter league in Venezuela but nearly quit the sport after blowing out his elbow and undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Carroll returned to the mound in July and had a 3.29 ERA in 11 combined starts between Rookie-Bristol and Birmingham. He wrote on his journey to recovery in the most sincere and respectful way.
He’s persevered, and it’s clearly paid off. The White Sox are on their second replacement pitcher (after LHP Charlie Leesman struggled against the Texas Rangers the prior weekend), and with Carroll’s win, I’m guessing the organization is heading in the right direction while we wait for Sale’s return.
In addition to his pitching skills, he has serious comedic chops:
At first glance, we think Carroll’s looks are very similar to those of former HAM of the Week and Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy. The chisled jaw, the scruff, the brown mullet, the hotness, they both play for a Chicago sports team…We could go on and on.
He’s witty on social media, too:
“Sooo elevators, right?” is a great icebreaker when in an elevator.
— Scott Carroll (@Scotty_Carroll) March 26, 2014
Given his age and his athletic ability, I think it will take some time for Carroll to adjust to the majors, but quite simply, he has the will to win and is definitely someone to root, root, root for.