Remember Michael Kopech? One of the four men traded to the Chicago White Sox to acquire our ace, Chris Sale. The same guy who got suspended 50 games for testing positive for oxilofrine, and who broke his right hand during an altercation with a roommate of his.
Ringing a bell yet?
Just how well is our 33rd overall 2014 draft pick doing nowadays?
Going into this season, Baseball America had Kopech as the No. 32 prospect. But, on their mid-season rankings he is sitting 12 spots higher at No. 20 through the first half of the season.
This is his first year in anything higher than Single-A, and the numbers are proving that he his doing well, but also struggling at the same time.
Over his Single-A and Artizona Fall League career – which spanned between 2015 and 2016 – he played with Greenville, Lowell, Salem and Birmingham, finishing with numbers like an average ERA of 2.24 and a 1.17 WHIP.
So as you can see, this kid is pretty good.
Please also note that he tossed pure gas of 110 MPH during a max-velocity session this past winter with the White Sox.
Now, enough of his past, let’s talk about how he’s handling his first assignment for the ChiSox.
He has been assigned to the Double-A Birmingham Barons since the start of the year and has pitched fairly well, but much like Drew Pomeranz.
He’s averaging just about 5.0 innings a game, so naturally his ERA is going to be a touch high.
His ERA is sitting at 3.84, due to him allowing about two earned runs per start, and that’s not bad at all.
Just this past Sunday during the MLB Futures Game, Kopech had the opportunity to pitch against his trading buddy, and number No. 1 ranked prospect, Yoan Moncada. He zipped three fastballs right past him. 99, 100 and 101 MPH.
Those were three pitches of his nine-pitch, perfect third inning.
Kopech could some day, potentially throw harder than any man in baseball if he keeps up doing what he’s doing.