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Grading the White Sox: Michael Kopech

Over Thanksgiving break, let’s be thankful for this young ace

MLB: Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners
He’s a stud — but lose the ’stache, Michael.
Lindsey Wasson-USA TODAY Sports

At midseason, the SSS staff graded the 46-46 White Sox, from head of the class Dylan Cease all the way down to Dallas Keuchel. We invented a WARsss metric that could very well be just a cute way to trot out our special site grades — but really for all you know could be the product of years of research in a stats lab.

Our expanded report card will take us through everyone who saw time in uniform for the White Sox, plus some front-office types. Most of our writers will take on a couple of players, with final grades and short writeups, running through the end of November. Enjoy!

Michael Kopech
Right-Handed Starting Pitcher
Midseason: 3.9 WARsss
Final: 4.86 WARsss

Over this Thanksgiving break, I want to talk about someone I’m thankful for — Michael Kopech. I’m a bit of a Kopech apologist, but I’ve been watching him since his Charlotte Knights days, and I know talent when I see it.

He also gets an A from me just for this alone:

This season was a little unfortunate for Kopech. As the 2021 season ended with him in the bullpen, no one knew what would happen in 2022. He was not properly stretched out, so there would be inning limits if Kopech started in 2022. He was a successful relief pitcher throughout 2021, so would that be his role going forward? In typical White Sox fashion, there weren’t any answers.

Kopech would spend a lot of time on the injured list in 2022. His innings were limited, and his starts tended to be a little wild in the first inning. But once he calmed down, he dominated against some of the best batters in the league.

If Kopech can stay healthy, he’ll be a threat in 2023. He’s always been a threat, though. He finished 2022 with an ERA of 3.54 and five wins against seven losses. The losses can’t all be pinned on him, as we all know the offense was abysmal at best most days. Kopech made it through 119 13 innings pitched, allowing 83 hits and 47 earned runs, but struck out 105. For someone that has pitched only two full seasons in the big leagues, I can’t complain much.

Here is a little update on Kopech.

Just stay healthy and shave the ’stache, Michael — unless you’re manifesting Randy Johnson numbers.

2022 White Sox Grades

Michael Kopech, RHSP, 4.86
Liam Hendriks, RHRP, 4.85
Danny Mendick, UTIL, 4.4
Ethan Katz, PIT COACH, 4.3
Tanner Banks, LHRP, 4.27
Andrew Vaughn, “LF,” 4.25
Davis Martin, RHSP, 4.1
Seby Zavala, C, 4.0
Luis Robert, CF, 3.7
Lance Lynn, RHSP, 3.5
Miguel Cairo, Bench Coach/MGR, 3.48
Tim Anderson, SS, 3.43
Kendall Graveman, RHRP, 3.1
Josh Harrison, 2B, 3.0
Gavin Sheets, RF-1B, 2.5
Jake Burger, 3B, 2.2
Romy González, IF, 2.0
Aaron Bummer, LHRP, 1.8
AJ Pollock, OF, 1.3
Matt Foster, RHRP, 1.2
Yoán Moncada, 3B, 0.92
Lenyn Sosa, SS, 0.85
José Ruiz, RHRP, 0.83
Mark Payton, OF, 0.6
Carlos Pérez, C, 0.399
Lucas Giolito, RHSP, 0.392
Adam Engel, OF, 0.237
Vince Velasquez, RHP, -0.4
Reese McGuire, C, -1.1
Kyle Crick, RHRP, -1.65
Joe Kelly, RHRP, -1.75
Daryl Boston, 1B Coach, -2.0
Anderson Severino, LHRP, -2.2
Jerry Reinsdorf, OWN, -2.321
Jake Diekman, LHRP, -2.366
Rick Hahn, GM, -2.401
Bennett Sousa, LHRP, -2.425
Frank Menechino, BAT COACH, -2.469
Yasmani Grandal, C/DH, -2.549
Leury García, UTIL, -2.7
Adam Haseley, OF, -3.146
Joe McEwing, 3B Coach, -3.167
Ryan Burr, RHRP, -3.4
Tony La Russa, MGR, -3.5
Dallas Keuchel, LHSP, -3.9


Michael Kopech had a weird 2022. Was our grade weird?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    It was too harsh, he was mismanaged into some meh stats.
    (6 votes)
  • 26%
    Too easy, kid has a golden arm, but the head is made of some other metal.
    (14 votes)
  • 62%
    Just right, too early to tell whether MK is an ace or just a cog.
    (33 votes)
53 votes total Vote Now