Michael Kopech

Michael Kopech

26-Year-Old PitcherSP
Chicago White Sox
Out
Injury Knee
Est. Return 2/1/2023
2023 Fantasy Outlook
Kopech returned to a big-league mound in 2021 for the first time in three years and excelled as a reliever, and he continued that success in the starting rotation last year. The right-hander made only 19 starts while he dealt with knee and shoulder issues, but when available he pitched well with a 3.54 ERA, 1.19 WHIP and 105:57 K:BB across 119.1 innings. He unsurprisingly saw his velocity drop 2.5 mph from his year out of the bullpen, and with it his strikeout rate dropped from 36.1 percent to 21.3 percent. The underlying numbers are a bit less encouraging, as he had a 4.83 xFIP and .223 BABIP, which could indicate he's due for some regression. Kopech continues to rely heavily on his fastball and slider and may not be able to take that next step until he's able to mix in an effective third pitch more often, which has eluded him to this point. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
$Signed a one-year, $730,000 contract with the White Sox in March of 2022.
Rehab more gradual than anticipated
PChicago White Sox
Knee
November 17, 2022
Pitching coach Ethan Katz said Thursday that Kopech's (knee) rehab process has been more gradual than expected, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
Kopech missed the end of the 2022 season due to a shoulder injury and underwent surgery on his right knee in early October. While he hasn't progressed as quickly as anticipated, the White Sox still expect him to be ready for the start of spring training, and he's expected to be ready to throw 85 pitches over five innings by the time the regular season gets underway.
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Pitching Stats
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2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2022 MLB Game Log
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2021 MLB Game Log
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2020 MLB Game Log
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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Pitching Appearances Breakdown
Average Pitch Count
80
Last 10 Games
79
Last 5 Games
70
How many pitches does Michael Kopech generally throw?
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
 
1-10
 
11-20
 
21-30
 
31-40
 
41-50
 
51-60
 
61-70
 
71-80
 
81-90
 
91-100
 
101-110
 
111-120
 
121+
What part of the game does Michael Kopech generally pitch?
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
 
 
 
1st
 
 
 
2nd
 
 
 
3rd
 
 
 
4th
 
 
 
5th
 
 
 
6th
 
 
 
7th
 
 
 
8th
 
 
 
9th
 
Extra
% Games Reaching Innings Threshold
% Games By Number of Innings Pitched
Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-2%
BAA vs LHP
2022
 
 
-13%
BAA vs RHP
2021
 
 
-25%
BAA vs LHP
2020
No Stats
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2020vs Left .200 332 116 37 58 14 3 10
Since 2020vs Right .205 447 92 44 81 10 2 14
2022vs Left .214 215 62 30 39 12 1 5
2022vs Right .186 279 43 27 46 5 0 10
2021vs Left .176 117 54 7 19 2 2 5
2021vs Right .235 168 49 17 35 5 2 4
2020vs Left 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020vs Right 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2020
 
 
-30%
ERA at Home
2022
 
 
-29%
ERA at Home
2021
 
 
-30%
ERA at Home
2020
No Stats
ERA WHIP IP W L SV K/9 BB/9 HR/9
Since 2020Home 3.01 0.97 110.2 5 8 0 9.6 3.6 1.1
Since 2020Away 4.27 1.45 78.0 4 4 0 10.4 4.3 1.3
2022Home 3.01 0.98 68.2 2 5 0 7.3 3.9 1.0
2022Away 4.26 1.48 50.2 3 4 0 8.7 4.8 1.2
2021Home 3.00 0.95 42.0 3 3 0 13.3 3.0 1.1
2021Away 4.28 1.39 27.1 1 0 0 13.5 3.3 1.3
2020Home 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2020Away 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
More Splits View More Split Stats
Stat Review
How does Michael Kopech compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity, Barrels/BBE %, Balls Hit 95+ MPH %, and Spin Rate are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 120 IP). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • K/BB
    Strikeout to walk ratio.
  • K/9
    Average strikeouts per nine innings.
  • BB/9
    Average walks per nine innings.
  • HR/9
    Average home runs allowed per nine innings.
  • Fastball
    Average fastball velocity.
  • ERA
    Earned run average. The average earned runs allowed per nine innings.
  • WHIP
    Walks plus hits per inning pitched.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many balls in play against a pitcher go for hits.
  • GB/FB
    Groundball to flyball ratio. The higher the number, the more likely a pitcher is to induce groundballs.
  • Left On Base
    The percentage of base runners that a pitcher strands on base over the course of a season.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Barrels/BBE
    The percentage of batted ball events resulting in a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
  • Spin Rate
    Spin Rate is the rate of spin on a baseball after it is released. It is measured in revolutions per minute (rpm).
  • Balls Hit 95+ MPH
    The percentage of batted balls hit that met or exceeded the 95 MPH threshold.
  • Swinging Strike
    The percentage of pitches that result in a swing and a miss.
K/BB
1.84
 
K/9
7.9
 
BB/9
4.3
 
HR/9
1.1
 
Fastball
94.9 mph
 
ERA
3.54
 
WHIP
1.19
 
BABIP
.232
 
GB/FB
0.78
 
Left On Base
73.6%
 
Exit Velocity
82.9 mph
 
Barrels/BBE
5.7%
 
Spin Rate
2460 rpm
 
Balls Hit 95+ MPH
26.5%
 
Swinging Strike
10.0%
 
Prospect Rankings History
Advanced Pitching Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Stats Vs Today's Lineup
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Michael Kopech
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2022
2021
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
Kopech was a giant unknown heading into the 2021 season. When last we saw him, he left his final start after his promotion from the minors with an injury in 2018 which required Tommy John surgery to fix. He missed the 2019 season rehabbing, and opted out of the 2020 season due to health concerns. He came into 2021 as a reliever, something he had never done as a professional, and absolutely flourished in the role from a real baseball perspective. His success did not exactly translate into much fantasy success outside of his strikeout total, but he quickly reminded us what his right arm is capable of doing when it is healthy. Now the question will be: can he transition back to the rotation? If so, what will it look like? An effective third pitch has thus far eluded him, and that challenge along with the jump in workload may just make him a risk you let others take.
Kopech threw one clean five-pitch inning last spring during Cactus League play, which marks his lone game action in over two years. He needed Tommy John surgery in September 2018 after a brief cup of coffee and opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. He will be 30 months removed from TJS this spring. New pitching coach Ethan Katz said in December that Kopech is feeling great and the team expects him to compete for a rotation spot in camp. Kopech's arm should be healthy and fresh, but considering he has been unable to build up his workload, the White Sox will probably have to devise a creative way of managing him this season. Kopech has an 80-grade fastball, plus slider, improving changeup and shaky control. He is the type of pitching prospect who could dominate any team over six innings or get chased by any team before making it out of the third inning.
Since 2000, of six starting pitchers who had their first Tommy John surgery in September, as Kopech did in 2018, the average innings pitched in the season that began 18 months later was 101.2. Two of the six (Mike Hampton, Scott Mathieson) did not make it back at all during what should have been their comeback years. Kopech has an 80-grade fourseam fastball with elite spin and will flash a plus slider and plus changeup. However, his command and control are fringe-average at best. Considering command is often the last thing to return for pitchers coming off TJS, we should not panic if he is wild in spring training or even the first couple months of the season. He is undeniably a flyball pitcher, so home runs will sometimes follow his walks and hit batsmen. This is not the year to expect quality ratios, but there will be a lot of strikeouts if he is lucky enough to avoid setbacks when he starts to ramp up.
Chicago's tantalizing fireballer grinded his way to a late-season MLB debut, battling control issues at Triple-A for much of the season. The excitement was short lived, as he required Tommy John surgery in mid-September. Kopech gave up a run on 11 hits and one walk while hitting five batters and striking out nine over 11 innings in his first three MLB starts (two were cut short by rain). He was pummeled in his final start, which also included a rain delay before he tore his UCL. There is a lot of noise in his tiny MLB sample -- elbow issues resulted in his velocity ticking down in each successive start and only one was unaffected by rain -- but in his debut outing his 96.8 mph four-seamer averaged 2,629 rpm -- Justin Verlander led qualified starters at 2,618 rpm. He also flashed a plus slider and plus changeup. Kopech will miss all of 2019 and with a normal recovery he will be fully healthy for spring training in 2020 -- 17-plus months removed from the surgery.
Last year Kopech's doubters thought he would end up as a high-leverage reliever, but now he seems more likely to wind up on the cover of GQ than in a big-league bullpen. There are reasonable arguments for a couple other hurlers (Forrest Whitley and Alex Reyes), but Kopech will be ranked by most as the top pitching prospect in the game this offseason. In addition to his famed 80-grade fastball, which he can dial up to triple digits with ease, Kopech made massive strides with his slider and changeup. Both secondaries now project as plus offerings, and with improving command, a future No. 1 starter is coming into focus. The White Sox kept him at Double-A for most of 2017, but rewarded his improvement with a three-start run at Triple-A to close out the year. He will return to Charlotte, but he should spend the bulk of 2018 in the big-league rotation. His immediate floor is a high-strikeout ratio risk, but if he throws enough strikes, he could be an SP2 on a per-start basis.
Kopech made headlines in 2016, both bad and good. The bad was breaking his hand in spring training while getting into an altercation with a teammate, delaying his start to the season until July. Between this incident and missing 50 games of development in 2015 due to testing positive for a banned substance, there were some makeup questions dogging him. Once the 6-foot-3 right-hander started pitching, the good headlines started. His calling card is an overpowering fastball that touches triple digits. He breezed through Carolina League hitters, striking out 82 in 52 innings (14.2 K/9) and was clearly one of the top prospects in the Arizona Fall League. It is easy to see why the White Sox insisted Kopech be part of the deal for Chris Sale. Commanding the heater (5.0 BB/9 in 2016) in addition to improving the secondary offerings and building up innings (134.2 in three seasons) make up his to-do list for 2017.
Kopech is one of Boston’s better pitching prospects at the lower levels of the organization, projecting as a No. 2 starter if it all clicks for him. He was given a challenging assignment to Low-A Greenville to start the season and was successful at that level, finishing 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA while striking out 70 in 65 innings. The bad news is that Kopech was suspended 50 games for testing positive for Oxilofrine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. The suspension wiped out the rest of his regular season, leaving him only an option of working out at team’s training facility in Fort Myers. He was able to work on a few things there, in particular his off-speed stuff and ironing out his mechanics. Kopech participated in the Fall Instructional League, making up for some lost development time. His major areas of focus in 2016 are repeating his delivery, commanding his fastball and refining the secondary stuff. He’ll likely open at Greenville.
Kopech was the second of Boston's two first-round picks in the 2014 draft. Coming out of high school, he was immediately assigned to the Gulf Coast League, where he held opponents to a measly .216 average and .255 slugging percentage. His problems with control and command were evident -- nine walks in 13.2 innings -- but his mid-90s heater (touching 97-98 mph) was effective against other rookies. Kopech has a lot of moving parts to his delivery, but has already worked to correct some of that. His secondary pitches are works in progress, but his raw stuff gives him a high ceiling if it can be harnessed. The Red Sox may challenge him at Low-A Greenville in 2015 for his first full-season assignment.
More Fantasy News
Undergoes knee surgery
PChicago White Sox
Knee
October 1, 2022
Kopech (shoulder) underwent surgery on his right knee Thursday, James Fegan of The Athletic reports.
ANALYSIS
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Likely done for season
PChicago White Sox
Shoulder
September 27, 2022
Interim manager Miguel Cairo said Kopech (shoulder) likely won't pitch again this season, Vinnie Duber of AllCHGO.com reports.
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Out with shoulder inflammation
PChicago White Sox
Shoulder
September 17, 2022
Kopech was placed on the 15-day injured list Saturday due to shoulder inflammation, Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times reports.
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Bounces back for fifth win
PChicago White Sox
September 13, 2022
Kopech (5-9) earned the win over the Rockies on Tuesday. He allowed two runs on three hits and no walks while striking out three over five innings.
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Gets bopped in Seattle
PChicago White Sox
September 8, 2022
Kopech did not factor into the decision Wednesday, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks over 3.2 innings against the Mariners. He struck out four.
ANALYSIS
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