Player: Michael Kopech
Position: Right-Handed Pitcher
Height: 6’3 Weight: 205 Age: 24 Bats/Throws: R/R Current Level: AAA Charlotte
MLB.com Rank: 3rd in White Sox System
Drafted: 2014 (Round 1, 33rd overall by BOS)
Acquired: 2016 from Red Sox with Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz for Chris Sale
Hometown: Mount Pleasant, TX
Kopech is currently the White Sox most prized and highest rated pitching prospect. He was selected in the first round of the 2014 draft by the Red Sox and signed for $1.5 million. He was sent over to the Southside in December of 2016 in the Chris Sale deal. Kopech made four starts in Chicago in 2018. He looked great through his first three starts: allowing just one run. The fourth start went bad as he got hit hard by Detroit and an MRI later revealed he would need Tommy John surgery. After missing all of the 2019 season recovering, 2020 was supposed to be a huge year for Kopech in his return, but he only got one inning on the mound in Spring Training before the shut down.
Although we cannot be sure what post-Tommy John Kopech will look like, pre-Tommy John Kopech was electric! His fastball sits from 94-98 mph and has topped out over 100 mph. He has two breaking balls he uses off of his fastball. The slider sits around 85-89 mph and is farther along in development than the curve, but both project to be above-average pitches. He’ll need those both because his changeup hasn’t developed into something he can use to get lefties out yet.
One of the most promising pieces of Kopech’s development has been his improving command. Guys throwing as hard as he does often have some control issues. Kopech’s command and feel for his pitches has steadily increased through his time in the minors.
If Kopech isn’t able to find his command when we return to baseball, he can still be useful as a fireballer out of the bullpen, but the hope is that he will continue to be efficient as a starter and take on a prominent role in the White Sox rotation.
Michael Kopech Stats