Player: Michael Kopech
Drafted by: Boston Red Sox
DOB: 04/30/1996 (Age: 18)
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 195 pounds
School: Mount Pleasant High School (Texas)
College Commitment: Arizona
Micheal Kopech doesn't come with the hype compared to some of the other prep arms in this year's class, but the right-hander has serious helium headed into the draft after a breakout season at Mount Pleasant High School.
On the year, the ultra projectable right-hander posted a 0.44 ERA and 129/18 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 64 innings.
Full Scouting Report
Note: Numerical scores are on the conventional 20-80 scouting scale, with the current score first and projected score second.
Possesses one of the more projectable frames among pitchers in the class at 6’4”, 195 pounds; excellent athleticism allows him to repeat a busy delivery; initiates with big side step prior to a high leg kick and turn at height of his delivery and then bends back leg as he nears release point to create leverage and whipping action with his arm; creates some crossfire due to tendency to land closed; features a slight arm wrap on the back side that doesn’t hinder his hand speed; demonstrates more consistent overall feel for arsenal when working from stretch.
Velocity has been up this spring, as he’s sat 92-96 mph and reached 98; previously worked in the 90-92 mph range; throws a two-seamer with good arm-side run in the low 90s; generates good sinking action thanks to arm action and plane; already adept at manipulating pitch to create cutting action; potential for plus-plus, mid-90s velocity at maturity.
Kopech’s curveball flashes plus potential at 75-78 mph with tight spin and an impressive, 11-to-5 shape; doesn’t consistently get on top of pitch, causing it to flatten out and break early while lingering up in the zone; will occasionally generate slider action when he gets around the ball; flashes plus potential and should help him miss bats with regularity at the next level.
Below-average offering will remain a work in progress for the foreseeable future; arm action and delivery could limit his feel for the pitch, though it still flashes average potential; will be crucial to development as a starter.
Complicated mechanics point to future as a reliever; generally throws strikes but delivery and arm action raise questions of whether or not it will translate as a professional; good feel for arsenal despite said mechanical issues; some concern about durability and ability to control arsenal as he works deeper into games.
Questionable command profile for same reasons as above; shows better feel for strike zone when working from the stretch, where his mechanics are more simple and repeatable; ability to pound the zone should improve with experience and general refinement; development of command will likely determine whether or not he sticks as a starter.
MLB Player Comparison: Jameson Taillon
As a projectable Texas prep right-hander, Kopech draws some comparisons to Jameson Taillon, the No. 2 overall pick in 2010, for his lanky frame, loose arm action and ability to flash two plus pitches before turning pro.
Projection: No. 2 or 3 starting pitcher
Major Leagues ETA: 2018
Chances of Signing: 85 percent
Kopech has some serious helium headed into the draft after his spring velocity jump, and plenty of teams should be willing to take a flier on first-round money for him to pass on his commitment to Arizona.