“Triple A is very important, too; I just think when you have talented, extremely talented players, that they have a chance to move quickly through an organization,” Dombrowski told MassLive.com at the GM Meetings. “And I have seen pitchers and positional players both be successful going from Double A (to the majors).”
If you haven’t heard of Kopech yet, now is the time to take a look at him. The 20-year old is one of few players who can bring it up to 100 MPH consistently.
When he pitched in High-A-Salam last season, he had a 4-1 record with a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings. In those 52 innings pitched, Kopech struck out 82 batters, which shows that he is playing above his years.
In one of his starts last season, scouts actually clocked one of his pitches at 105 MPH, a speed you only hear from All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman. I want to mention again that this guy is only 20 years old.
When Kopech went to the Arizona Fall League, he was just looked at as another prospect. But when he left, he became a pitcher on the rise.
With four starts in AFL, Kopech went 1-0 with 1.93 ERA, striking out 18 while only walking 1 batter in 14 innings pitched. Granted the innings pitched were low, it was still nice to see a guy who can locate such a hard throwing fastball.
Now do I see Kopech making his way up to the Boston Red Sox next season? You never know. You saw position players like Andrew Benintendi and Yoan Moncada make their Major League debuts late in the 2016 season, so the idea of Kopech doing the same in 2017 should not be thrown away.
If Kopech were to be called up, would he be automatically placed in the starting rotation? Highly unlikely. But if the Sox have a chance to be in the postseason, Kopech could be a guy you can call out of the bullpen to bring it up to 100 MPH consistently. The big thing Dombrowski needs to be certain of is if Kopech can locate his fastball. Any hitter can hit a fastball no matter how hard it is thrown if the pitcher misses his location.