Chicago White Sox: Four players that could breakout in 2020

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago White Sox Michael Kopech
(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

1. Michael Kopech

The Chicago White Sox are very excited to see Michael Kopech return from Tommy John surgery in 2020 and with good reason.

During his 2018 season spent at Triple-A Charlotte, Kopech had a 12.1 K/9 rate and with a fastball that sometimes exceeds 100 MPH, there’s no reason that strikeout rate can’t be maintained at the major league level.

That being said, his control issues are very concerning as his walk rate has risen as high as 5.9 BB/9 in his minor league career.

As the second piece acquired with Yoan Moncada in the Chris Sale trade, Kopech has some lofty expectations to live up to.

Kopech has some experience at the major league level as he made four starts in 2018, although he didn’t fare particularly well as he allowed eight runs in 14 1/3 innings.

A sample size as small as that at the big league level isn’t something to worry about at this stage, but it means he’s likely not a finished product quite yet.

If Kopech could somehow even channel the 3.70 ERA he had at Triple-A in 2019, though, he’d prove to already be a mid-rotation starter for the team behind Lucas Giolito and hopefully Zack Wheeler, if they do end up signing him.

The likelihood is that a breakout for Kopech won’t come right away as pitchers recovering from Tommy John surgery often deal with fatigue and control issues initially.

Once he gets past both of those issues, though, the sky is the limit for Kopech.