White Sox: Was Alec Hansen’s 2017 Better Than Michael Kopech’s?

MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Michael Kopech
MIAMI, FL - JULY 09: Michael Kopech /

White Sox top pitching prospect has gotten solid recognition for this 2017 season, but did another prospect have a much better year on the mound?

Since the White Sox already have Michael Kopech in their farm system, another gifted young arm fails to get the attention he deserves. That is Alec Hansen, the Sox second round draft pick (49th overall) in 2016. He could have been drafted higher but had a subpar junior season at the University of Oklahoma. How well did he pitch in 2017? Let’s take a look!

Before we get started, keep one aspect of Hansen’s season in mind. He pitched across three different levels of minor league baseball (Low-A to Double-A), even though he only made two starts at the latter. Regardless, he nearly struck out 200 men this past season (191 to be exact), which led the minors in that category.

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Another interesting, but an excellent aspect of Hansen’s statistics is his Quality and Magnum Starts. He racked up a Quality Start Total (QST) total of twelve, which put his Yearly Quality Percentage (YQP) at 46.2 percent. When compared to the aforementioned Kopech, Hansen’s score was a touch higher but was he truly the better pitcher?

If you look at his Magnum Start Value scores the answer is no. Hansen only posted a YMT of six, meaning his YMA checked in at 0.23, a terrible total by any calculation. I don’t even need to use YMT to prove Kopech had the better season, just his 8.5 July score in MMT. On top of that, Kopech’s Yearly Magnum Percentage (YMP) came in at 20 percent while Hansen’s YMP of 7.7 percent barely registered at all.

Moving to traditional statistics, Hansen excelled across the board. He allowed opponents to bat a meager .216 in 2017, while only allowing two home runs. Another aspect of Hansen’s game was his K/BB rate, which totaled up to 3.75/1, a result any pitcher would take. Much of that had to do with what has already been said in the second paragraph, not to mention the fact Hansen only walked 51 men all year long, equating to 0.36 per inning.

Regardless of how these two compare to each other, both have a very bright future if they can avoid injury. Remember, Hansen was a projected top-five pick until his poor junior campaign, while Kopech’s stuff is that of an ace. You can’t go wrong with either, and Sox fans should be thrilled that both of them are in the organization.

Next: Andrew Cashner Could Provide Depth to White Sox Starting Rotation

Overall, the future of the Sox staff is very bright. With Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez already in Chicago, just think of what adding these two youngsters would do to the Sox rotation. Mix in a healthy Carlos Rodon (if he is around), and the Sox could have a New York Mets type rotation from a couple of years ago. Given a lot of things have to go their way, but the talent is there. The question now is will the South Siders get the breaks. If so, enjoy a long run Sox fans.