They say there are only two certainties in life, death, and taxes. It is getting to the point where we can add Micheal Kopech dominating the Chicago White Sox mound to the list. Micheal Kopech has emerged as a superweapon out of the Chicago White Sox bullpen. Monday night, Kopech was back at it closing out a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. He provided another example of why he is already one of the most exciting pitchers in the game.
Michael Kopech continues to provide dominance for the Chicago White Sox.
He entered the game in the eighth inning and greeted Tommy Edman with a strikeout. Edman never stood a chance during the at-bat and was left helplessly flailing at a changeup. He then got Dylan Carlson to fly out to centerfield. He nearly struck out Paul Goldschmidt but the All-Star was able to get a single off of him. That brought up one of the best third basemen in baseball, Nolan Arendando. Kopech worked around the two-out hit and retired Arendado with a groundout to short.
After yielding a leadoff single to Yadier Molina to start the ninth, Kopech barred down. He blew a 98 mph fastball past Matt Carpenter. Then he froze Justin Williams with his changeup for a backward K. He capped off the White Sox victory by getting Edmundo Sosa to ground out softly to Nick Madrigal.
Micheal Kopech has been lights out no matter what role the White Sox thrust him in. Need a clutch out in the eighth inning? Kopech is your man. Need to eat innings out of the bullpen? Kopech has you covered. Need a spot start? Light work for Kopech.
He has been the model of consistency on the mound. On the season, Micheal Kopech has a 1.78 ERA. He has made three starts and is 1-0 with only three runs allowed in 12 innings. A whopping 92.4 percent of baserunners are left stranded when Kopech is toeing the rubber. Part of this can be attributed to his strikeout rate of 13.34 per nine innings.
Kopech has always been an elite arm talent. His ability to chuck a fastball triple digits is what made him one of the top prospects in baseball. During his hiatus from Major League Baseball, Kopech turned himself into a pitcher, not just a thrower. He commands the strike zone better and can locate his fastball. He has incorporated some lethal off-speed stuff to complement his electric fastball.
His changeup has emerged as a particularly effective weapon. It was on full display against the Cardinals. Kopech throws it around 91 mph, making it one of the harder changeups in the game. He grips it with split fingers and gets it to move like a sinker. It is a tall task for a hitter to try and make contact after seeing an upper 90s fastball.
Yasmani Grandal has had the privilege of catching some great pitchers during his career. After seeing Kopech in action he could sense that Kopech was special. He talked about Kopech in an interview with High Heat earlier this month.
"“If we see him getting to where we see him going he can be a Cy Young winner at some point.”"
Kopech has carved out a nice role in the White Sox bullpen. Eventually, he will make his way into the starting rotation full-time. With a sizzling fastball and a breaking ball that keeps hitters guessing, a Cy Young may be in the near future for him.