White Sox top pitching prospect had another strong start for Triple-A Charlotte in the team’s series opening win over the Louisville Bats.
Michael Kopech is ready for the Majors. The White Sox top pitching prospect had another strong start on Thursday night in the Charlotte Knights 9-4 win over the Louisville Bats. Kopech recorded nine strikeouts in six innings pitched while allowing just one earned run and no walks.
The Sox haven’t promoted the right-handed pitcher yet and all he does is continue to dominate the lesser competition in Triple-A. After a rough stretch in early June, Kopech has rebounded nicely with strong starts.
In his last 10 outings, Kopech has a 4-2 record with a 2.14 ERA to go along with 82 strikeouts and 14 walks. Kopech hasn’t walked a batter in his last three starts while recording a total of 27 strikeouts in that span. With the win on Thursday, Kopech improved his record to 7-7 and lowered his ERA to 3.70.
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If Kopech continues to dominate Triple-A, it will be hard for the Sox to continue justifying why he isn’t pitching in the Majors. Service time manipulation shouldn’t be the top goal of the Sox when evaluating when Kopech and Eloy Jimenez will be ready for the next level. There’s not much left for Kopech to accomplish with Charlotte and the Sox are running out of excuses for keeping him in the minors.
Another pitcher that is making the case for promotion is Ian Hamilton. The 23-year-old pitched a scoreless inning on Thursday for the Knights and hasn’t allowed an earned run in his last four relief appearances. Hamilton is 3-2 this season with a 1.77 ERA between Double-A Birmingham and Charlotte in 38 total games.
The 2016 11th round draft pick could be promoted in September when rosters expand. In 17 appearances with the Knights, Hamilton has recorded 23 strikeouts and allowed just four walks in 20.1 innings pitched. If Hamilton is promoted in September, he could work on his opportunity to be a key member of the Sox bullpen going into 2019.
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