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Michael Kopech is coming to the majors

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White Sox No. 2 prospect will make his long-awaited debut Tuesday night

Chicago White Sox Photo Day
At last: Michael Kopech will throw fireballs in Chicago in two days.
Photo by Jamie Schwaberow/Getty Images

The White Sox announced this afternoon that they’ll call up Michael Kopech to make his major league debut against the Twins. Kopech is rated the second-best prospect in the organization by just about everyone, and he was one of the main pieces that came back in the Chris Sale trade of December 2016. He’s known for having one of the best fastballs in the minors—a lively high-90s offering that can touch triple digits.

Kopech will have spent exactly a year overpowering International League hitters. Since joining the Knights on August 21, 2017, he’s made 27 starts with the top affiliate, pitching to a 3.63 ERA and 3.17 FIP in 141⅓ innings with 65 walks and a staggering 187 strikeouts.

Kopech had a strong start out of the gate in Triple-A this year, but a midseason lapse in control (47 walks in 55⅓ innings) caused some concern. However, since then he’s been dominant: he’s issued just four walks over his last 44 innings and punched out 59 hitters. The problems he experienced could have been caused in part by a change in approach to rely less on blowing hitters away with his fastball and sharpen his offspeed pitches. Now he’s ready to take the mound on the South Side and light up the radar gun in front of an eager fanbase.

This move answers at least one question about Rick Hahn’s approach to prospect promotion—people like our own larry have been ringing the bell for Kopech, as well as Eloy Jiménez, to be called up for a while now. The question lingered as to whether Hahn was trying to game both prospects’ service time the way the Cubs did with Kris Bryant in 2015. While Jiménez remains in Charlotte to continue dominating opposing pitching, Kopech will get his chance in August, as the Sox have chosen to jump-start his major league development before the 2018 season ends.

The roster move will become official before Tuesday’s game, and there’s no word yet on whom Kopech will replace on the major league team. But who cares? The future is here!