Chicago White Sox 2021 Season Preview: Michael Kopech

(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /

When the Chicago White Sox traded Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox on December 6th, 2016, you knew that some elite talent was probably coming back in return. Well, it has in the form of Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech. We know how much of a stud Moncada is at third base and as a hitter but Kopech has had some ups and downs.

The downs aren’t really anything baseball-related and most of the ups are. His stuff is so nasty which makes him as fun to watch as any pitching prospect the Sox have ever had. If he can stay healthy in 2021, he is going to be a huge part of the team’s roster. He had a little taste of the MLB in 2018 before Tommy John canceled his season and all of 2019. He opted out of the 2020 season for personal reasons.

What is it that makes Michael Kopech so fun to watch? Well, it is largely due to his electric arm. He can throw the ball 100 miles per hour with ease. He can get his breaking junk in the upper 80s too which is remarkable. He is going to be a complete nightmare for anyone he faces for the next decade.

The White Sox are going to start Kopech in the bullpen to start the year. We know that he is probably going to be a starter one day but for now, they are going to manage his innings. It makes sense as he is coming off of major surgery and a lot of time away. The White Sox are going to do everything they can to make sure that he is at 100 percent in all areas of his game.

With him coming out of the bullpen, along with Garrett Crochet, they are going to have two potential starters throwing 100 out of the bullpen. It is a really unique situation and should be really fun to watch all season long.

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2021 Expectations:

As mentioned before, expect Kopech to start the season coming out of the bullpen. You can also expect him to be paired with Crochet a good amount of the time. A sweet game to watch would be a quality start from one of the starters before Crochet and Kopech team up to get the ball to Liam Hendriks in the 9th. These are the types of things we want to see from them this year.

Predicting Kopech’s numbers going into 2020 is very difficult. Keeping his WHIP down would be nice and an ERA slightly over three would be okay to see. Anything better than that would be just awesome. He is going to throw the ball hard and get a lot of swings and misses. Expect big things from number 34 going forward.