White Sox pitching prospect Michael Kopech was among the non-roster players given an invitation to spring training, Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune reports. Though unlikely, Kopech does have a chance to make the starting rotation out of camp.
Kopech, 21, is the best pitching prospect, No. 2 overall in the White Sox system, and No. 10 overall in baseball, according to MLB Pipeline. He spent most of last season with Double-A Birmingham, posting a 2.87 ERA with a 155/60 K/BB ratio in 119 1/3 innings. He made three successful starts with Triple-A Charlotte, yielding five runs in 15 innings.
Kopech throws hard, wielding a fastball that reaches into the triple digits with regularity. He also throws a hard slider regarded as an above-average weapon. The right-hander has a change-up that is still believed to be a work in progress.
Most likely, Kopech starts the year at Triple-A and stays down there until the White Sox can be sure they get an extra year of control, not unlike the way the Cubs handled Kris Bryant in his rookie season. Following that, Kopech will get a call up to the big leagues where he’ll presumably stay for good. He should be one of the more interesting prospects to watch during the 2018 season.
Kopech pitched in the Futures Game last year, providing a brief glimpse of his skills: