The Chicago White Sox have one of the top farm systems in all of baseball.
On Tuesday, one of their prized prospects will make his MLB debut. Chicago White Sox top pitching prospect Michael Kopech will make his Major League debut on Tuesday night against the Minnesota Twins.
The 13th-ranked prospect and fourth-ranked pitching prospect in all of baseball, Kopech was acquired from the Boston Red Sox during the 2016 Winter Meetings as a part of the Chris Sale trade.
Kopech, 22, has spent all of 2018 in Triple-A. After getting off to a rough start, Kopech has been lights-out in the second-half, recording a 2.14 ERA in his last ten starts. During that span, Kopech has struck out 82 batters while walking just 14. Kopech has not walked a batter in the month of August, likely the deciding factor in the timing of his call-up.
When John ranked the Chicago White Sox Top-20 prospects back in March, he had Kopech ranked as the White Sox #2 prospect. Here’s what he had to say on the young right-hander:
Kopech’s top tool is his fastball, which routinely sits in the upper-90s, and occasionally can hit triple-digits. Additionally, Kopech possesses a wipeout slider and developing changeup, both with the potential to be top-notch pitches.
Kopech has fought through a handful of obstacles during his minor-league career, including a 50-game suspension for a violation of Minor League Baseball’s drug abuse policy, a suspension for a violation of team rules stemming from a fight with a teammate, and a broken hand during the 2016 season. All of the above took place during Kopech’s tenure with the Boston Red Sox, the team that drafted him in the first round of the 2013 draft.
However, Kopech hasn't had any off-field troubles during his time with the White Sox, becoming a face of the rebuild and a source of hope and excitement for White Sox fans during the rebuild.
White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has stated in the past that top prospects such as Kopech will be called up to “play everyday”. Simply put, this is not a spot start. Kopech will remain in the White Sox rotation for the final month-and-a-half of the season.
Last season around this time, the White Sox promoted their major league-ready prospects, including Yoan Moncada, Lucas Giolito, and Reynaldo Lopez.
Kopech is the first of the White Sox 2018 call ups, and perhaps the most hyped-up call up of the entire White Sox rebuild.