A Sox prospect made national news this week, and for good reason. High-A Salem’s Michael Kopech, the 33rd overall pick in the 2014 draft, topped out at 105 mph on Wednesday.
Even if that type of insane velocity isn’t sustainable, the 20-year-old Texan’s fastball is clearly a valuable weapon. After tossing five innings of one-run ball Monday, Kopech has a 0.49 ERA with 27 strikeouts in four starts this year. Yes, he’s still far away from the big leagues, but that’s pretty damn impressive. Kopech sounds determined to prove that he’s more than just a hard thrower.
“They saw 105 on the gun, and then saw it on the gun in front of them, and the people in front of them turned around and said, ‘Did you see that?’ They were like, ‘Yeah, we got the same thing,'” Kopech said. I think everybody was a little shocked to see that number pop up, but I try not to pay too much attention to it. It’s good to know my name is out there for a good reason right now, but I hope people look at me as a pitcher now, and not the immature kid that they’ve been looking at me as.”
Meanwhile, notorious Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman also threw a 105 mph heater. Hopefully Kopech is doing that in a couple years for the Sox.