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Mitch Ransdell/South Side Sox

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South Side Sox Player of the Week (May 19-25): Michael Kopech

A Tale of Two Starts: Red-hot Kopey claims our weekly honors

It’s been a rough spring, but a pair of stellar starts from fireballer Michael Kopech prove that White Sox fans can still have nice things.

The 27-year-old Texan is a long-promised star for fans of South Side baseball, and he was dangled in front of fans like a carrot leading up to his big-league debut in 2018. Then came Tommy John surgery, and the pandemic, and it seemed for a moment that Kopech had faded out of White Sox consciousness. But behind the scenes, he was grinding and toiling, building up endurance through relief appearances.

Now, based on his most recent work, Kopech’s capacity for domination cannot be denied.

Across those two games — both were Central Division matchups — Kopey threw 15 scoreless innings and struck out 19 batters, while walking just one. Thanks to his efficiency and endurance, the bullpen was well-rested and the Pale Hose clinched back-to-back series wins.

Kopech’s recent starts have been exactly what Sox fans were promised all those long years ago. The young buck with a flamethrower arm is buttressing established starters like Lucas Giolito and Dylan Cease, finally giving Sox fans a chance to regain a healthy resting heart rate.

2023 South Side Sox Players of the Week

Oscar Colás (February 25-March 2)
Andrew Vaughn (March 3-8)
Carlos Pérez (March 9-16)
Oscar Colás (March 17-22)
Cactus League MVP: Oscar Colás
Dylan Cease (March 30-April 5)
Luis Robert Jr. (April 6-12)
Lucas Giolito (April 13-20)
Jake Burger (April 21-27)
Lucas Giolito (April 28- May 4)
Hanser Alberto (May 5-11)
Luis Robert Jr. (May 12-18)
Michael Kopech (May 19-25)

Top 10 MVP Standings

Lucas Giolito (38.2)
Luis Robert Jr. (34.4)
Seby Zavala (21.2)
Jake Burger (19.7)
Oscar Colás (17.1)
Zach Remillard (16.4)
Romy González (15.8)
Michael Kopech (13.7)
Jesse Scholtens (10.7)
Gregory Santos (10.2)

Top 10 Cold Cat Standings

Tim Anderson (-32.7)
Yasmani Grandal (-24.2)
Yoán Moncada (-18.2)
Aaron Bummer (-15.1)
Alex Colomé (-11.8)
White Sox Offense (-10.0)
Everyone, Seriously, Everyone (-9.9)
Jake Marisnick (-8.9)
Keynan Middleton (-8.6)
Declan Cronin (-8.1)

Romy González was just a miracle pair of starts from Michael Kopech away from winning this week’s honors, but a small consolation is cracking into the MVP Top 10, at No. 7. With Kopech back in the MVP Top 10, he’s the first this season to fall from the MVP list to Cold Cats, and now back to MVP. And finally, the bottom of the MVP list is getting a revamp, with both Jesse Scholtens and Gregory Santos creeping their ways in.

Writer Standings

Both going 3-0 this week, Malachi Hayes and Chrystal O’Keefe make huge standings jumps, restoring more normalcy to coverage. Also, Dante Jones and Jordan Hass enjoyed first coverage victories of the season. It’s Ryiin’s turn, soon ... you’d think.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Mitch’s work, or if you’d like to purchase original drawings or prints, contact him via Twitter (@soxsketcher), Instagram (@southsidesharpie), or by e-mail at Thanks for supporting local artists!

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