If you thought Aroldis Chapman threw fast, Chicago White Sox prospect Michael Kopech busted out his flame-throwing potential on Tuesday with a pair of 110 mph throws.
While expectations are low for the Chicago White Sox at the major league level, what is going on behind the scenes incites the excitement behind this rising franchise. On Tuesday, right-handed pitching prospect Michael Kopech added some fuel to their minor-league fire with two 110 mph throws.
After being drafted by the Red Sox 33rd overall in the 2014 draft, he went 0-1 with a 4.61 ERA through eight starts for the GCL Red Sox. Over the next two years, Kopech improved and became baseball’s 30th overall prospect while being ranked 6th among his fellow right-handed pitchers. Kopech finished 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA in 15 starts for the Class-A Greenville Drive in 2015.
The following year, he posted a 4-1 record as his ERA continued to drop to 2.25 for the Class-A Salem Red Sox in 2016. All the while, Kopech averaged 96-98 mph and occasionally touched triple digits. Prior to Tuesday, he most recently threw 105 mph while pitching in Salem last July.
Fire! Fire! Fire!
Although Kopech is known for reaching 100-plus mph, hardly anyone expected the young right-hander to do what he did. While training at the Team APEC training facility in Tyler, Texas Kopech threw 110 mph during his max-velocity workout.
Granted, Kopech did not make the throw from the mound and used an underload baseball. However, his throw outmatched many in the major leagues, who reached 100-plus mph for fielding purposes. For example, in similar fashion as Kopech, Carlos Gomez threw 103.1 mph to nab Joe Mauer at home in 2015.
Regardless, throwing 110 mph is nothing short of impressive, especially since his is only 20-years-old. Even a pitch 5 mph slower would catch the attention of the major leagues and Kopech is quickly turning heads.