The Boston Red Sox traded Michael Kopech to the Chicago White Sox as part of a package including Yoan Moncada, Luis Alexander Basabe and Victor Diaz on December 6th to acquire Chris Sale.
Dave Dombrowski knew what he was giving away when he traded number one prospect Yoan Moncada and hard-throwing righty Michael Kopech to the White Sox more than a month ago. Fans have been elated over the addition of Chris Sale, one of the top-5 pitchers in the American League, but would be remiss not to dwell on the talents of Kopech.
According to MLB Pipeline, Kopech at 6’3″ and 205 lbs sits between 96-98 mph but has been known to top triple digits in the past.
Article continues below ...
Safe to say that no one was expecting to see 110 mph flash across the radar in mid-January, though. During a max-velocity training session, Kopech hit that mark using an underloaded baseball.
Yes, he was using a ball that’s roughly an ounce lighter than regulation, he crow-hopped and the velocity was measured at about 10 yards away. But still, 110 mph is 110 mph!
On July 13th of last season, with High-A Salem, his fastball hit 105 mph. In 11 starts, he went 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 82 strikeouts in 52 innings pitched against Carolina League competition.
His power fastball is going to be his calling card as he makes his way through the minor leagues, but Kopech has also featured a slider and changeup. Today’s Knuckleball aptly described his pitching profile in a scouting report compiled in October of 2016:
Kopech is dominating hitters in this year’s edition of the Arizona Fall League, where he is using a very effective combination of his blazing fastball and a very solid 87 mile-per-hour slider to keep hitters off balance. He has also mixed in a changeup that arrives at the plate at 84 miles per hour.
If Red Sox fans are beginning to regret dealing the potential all-star, Kopech also has his fair share of off-field issues after breaking his hand in an altercation with a teammate during Spring Training and receiving a 50-game suspension as a result of testing positive for a banned substance.