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South Side Sox 2021 Player of the Week (ending April 30): Michael Kopech

While Lance Lynn was out of the rotation, Kopey took flight with two solid starts last week

Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

Michael Kopech has a quiet attitude about him.

The way he carries himself takes me back to Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews of the 2008 Chicago Blackhawks. Kopech has the same coming-of-age confidence, a simple joy in just walking out to the mound and hurling a fireball. It’s coupled with an instinct to work hard when called upon.

Kopey had a chance to prove that this past week. With a recent rash of doubleheaders and a slew of injuries to key players, including starter Lance Lynn, Kopech stepped out to the mound for two winning starts. Notably, he fanned 10 over five innings in his second start, which completed a sweep of the Texas Rangers.

Things have changed since 2018, but Kopech has still got the stuff, no doubt about that. Having a child changes you. And going through major surgery? It must’ve made the big leagues feel distant at times.

But there’s a fire there, and as Tony La Russa and Ethan Katz gently stretch him via the long reliever role, there’s a glimpse of many future starts for Michael Kopech.

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2021 MVP Standings

Yermín Mercedes (30.0)
Carlos Rodón (28.1)
Michael Kopech (20.7)
Lance Lynn (16.6)
Luis Robert (10.0)
Dylan Cease (6.8)
Dallas Keuchel (6.7)

2021 Cold Cat Standings

José Abreu (-21.0)
Leury García (-21.0)
Evan Marshall (-12.8)
Matt Foster (-11.6)
Liam Hendriks (-10.3)
Yasmani Grandal (-9.6)
Jonathan Stiever (-8.8)
Nick Williams (-6.1)

South Side Sox Writer Standings