The development of Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech is key to the White Sox future. The organization can’t rush them to the majors.
The Chicago White Sox have plenty of questions heading into the 2018 season. They have holes to fill on the pitching staff and also the outfield. The biggest needs are starting pitching and Rick Hahn will need to retool the entire bullpen. Outfield becomes a question as well because we’re not sure what the future holds for Avisail Garcia.
The organization has a deep farm system. And fans would love nothing more than to see Eloy Jimenez and Michael Kopech grab spots on the MLB roster next season. That would be great but their development is key to this team’s future. So the White Sox can’t afford to rush these guys to the majors and have them fail.
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Jimenez and Kopech have all the makings of superstars. They have shown at each level of the minors they can dominate the competition. Jimenez is also putting his skills on display in the winter league, batting .400 with two home runs and eight RBIs through his first eight games. That also includes six runs scored, three doubles and a triple. He looks like a future star and the White Sox will need to make sure he is developed properly.
Kopech looked great all last season. He should start out the season in Triple-A. He has all the makings of a frontline starter and should be the team’s future ace. His fastball reaches over 100 mph which is crazy when you think that he’s a starter.
This team isn’t expected to contend next season. And it’s difficult to see them contending with some of the holes they have. They don’t have a closer or a bullpen for that matter. Rushing these guys to the majors for next season won’t solve the other problems they have. There’s no reason to have these guys break camp in the big leagues. They’re better off continuing their development in the minors. That way they can debut when they are truly ready.
The window for the White Sox is not open yet. It should start to open in 2019. That’s when I would expect both Jimenez and Kopech to be in the majors full time. We may catch a glimpse of them next season, but don’t be surprised when they start out 2018 in the minors. It’ll be tough to wait for them but in the end, it’s what is best for their development and the future of the organization.