Michael Kopech was once thought to be a key cornerstone on the Chicago White Sox’ pitching staff of the future. Unfortunately, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgeryafter his first five MLB starts in 2018, and only recently returned to the hill. 

After overcoming all that adversity and years away from live game action, Kopech has returned in a role that makes him the ultimate secret weapon for Chicago manager Tony La Russa.

Yes, he has made just two appearances thus far in the young 2021 MLB season, yet these appearances have featured a pair of two-inning outings from the bullpen. If Kopech doesn’t ultimately return to a starting role, he may well have a great outlook as a reliever.

Michael Kopech is oozing with potential

Kopech is a hard-throwing hurler. He hits the high 90s on his fastball and gets considerable movement on his slider. He can power his way through at-bats and has prolific offerings. Kopech has tossed four scoreless innings thus far, posting eight strikeouts and surrendering only three baserunners.

The 24-year-old’s presumed middle-to-long relief role is ideal for the White Sox’ pitching situation as it stands. Offseason acquisition Liam Hendriks is the undisputed closer, and someone capable of pitching multiple innings, if need be. That has, of course, become commonplace for MLB relievers, but Kopech looks up to the task in that regard.