39. Michael Kopech
White Sox fans are waiting eagerly for the return of Michael Kopech. After falling victim to Tommy John’s surgery then opting out of the 2020 season, Kopech will return to the mound for the first time in over two years.
He has the ability to light up the radar gun, throwing 100 mph with ease. He also has an easy assortment of breaking pitches. His pure stuff is game-changing. Look for the White Sox to ease him into the rotation. Kopech has yet to throw over 150 innings in a professional season. The most he has ever thrown as a pro is 140 2/3 innings. He also had some control issues in the minor leagues but was able to accumulate 170 strikeouts during his time in AAA in 2018.
He has a good chance to get the fifth spot in the rotation behind Lucas Giolito, Lance Lynn, Dallas Keuchel, and Dylan Cease. He should benefit from new pitching coach Ethan Katz and the other veteran starters in the rotation. His high upside as a player makes him a must-watch for the 2021 season. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi even went as far as to say he will be the White Sox “x-factor” this season. A solid season from him could push the White Sox over the top.