Michael Kopech, RHP: 2014 MLB Draft 33th Overall

Papelbon's Poutine

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Reading articles like that one baffles me at times. "he never needed to throw a change up in high school, so that pitch is well behind in development". Wtf are these coaches teaching high school pitchers? Any 18 kid that throws mid 90s needs nothing *other* than a change up.

But no, let's teach him a slider that could eff up his elbow instead of just showing him how to grip the ball differently and throw it the exact same way.
 

touchstone033

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Reading articles like that one baffles me at times. "he never needed to throw a change up in high school, so that pitch is well behind in development". Wtf are these coaches teaching high school pitchers? Any 18 kid that throws mid 90s needs nothing *other* than a change up.

But no, let's teach him a slider that could eff up his elbow instead of just showing him how to grip the ball differently and throw it the exact same way.
 
From what I understand, a changeup hurts hard-throwing HS pitchers. Most HS batters can't catch up to a 90-mph fastball, and when they try, they time themselves well for a mid 80s change. But, yeah, few kids come out of high school knowing how to mix speeds or location.
 

SouthernBoSox

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Papelbon's Poutine said:
Reading articles like that one baffles me at times. "he never needed to throw a change up in high school, so that pitch is well behind in development". Wtf are these coaches teaching high school pitchers? Any 18 kid that throws mid 90s needs nothing *other* than a change up.

But no, let's teach him a slider that could eff up his elbow instead of just showing him how to grip the ball differently and throw it the exact same way.
Throwing a change up in High school when you throw in the 90's is stupid.  Coaches don't need to teach change ups.
 

Eddie Jurak

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BP just blew up Kopech in a 2014 redraft piece.  Chavis fell out of the first round, but Kopeck...
 
1:6 Seattle Mariners
Actual Selection: Alex Jackson
Re-Draft Selection: Michael Kopech (2014 no. 33 pick)
Reason: Kopech throws harder, throws more strikes, and all with a better delivery than he showed at this time last year. The progression is already apparent. The right-hander sat 96-99 MPH in my viewing out of the windup. —Ryan Parker
 

shepard50

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Didn't see this noted anywhere. Kopech has been suspended for 50 games for violating the milb drug policy. He tested positive for Oxilofrine, which is a stimulant. He denies that he knowingly took it and is appealing "on principle."
 

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smastroyin

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Apparently he might miss the entire season. That will drop your rankings.
 

luckysox

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Meh. He's already wasted one season due to the PED suspension, and now he's just wasted another. He's a shithead.
Well sure, he's definitely a sheathed, but he had a good season in 2014, so see if a year iff due to shitheadedness gets him right. I mean, these are two dumb things, but they aren't the worst behavior out there. I'd argue to give the sheathed another chance and hope he realizes his potential while he's growing up.
 

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Well sure, he's definitely a sheathed, but he had a good season in 2014, so see if a year iff due to shitheadedness gets him right. I mean, these are two dumb things, but they aren't the worst behavior out there. I'd argue to give the sheathed another chance and hope he realizes his potential while he's growing up.
I hear you, but that means his good year is now 2 seasons in this past because he's screwed up 2015 and 2016 with dunderheaded behavior. I have very little patience for such things any more; he certainly doesn't sound like a guy with a good head on his shoulders. And given the PED suspension I have to wonder just how he achieved those good results in 2014 anyway.
 

moondog80

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Meh. He's already wasted one season due to the PED suspension, and now he's just wasted another. He's a shithead.
Sure, but he might grow up. It's unlikely perhaps, but he does have talent and as stated above, keeping him doesn't cost you anything. Release him now and watch 29 other teams get in line to sign him.
 

mauidano

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I hear you, but that means his good year is now 2 seasons in this past because he's screwed up 2015 and 2016 with dunderheaded behavior. I have very little patience for such things any more; he certainly doesn't sound like a guy with a good head on his shoulders. And given the PED suspension I have to wonder just how he achieved those good results in 2014 anyway.
Decent RHP are a dime a dozen. This kid obviously doesn't have it figured out. As Hazen mentioned, it's pretty fucking tough enough to get to The Show without imploding yourself. So it costs nothing to keep him around in the minors. He'd better be pretty damn awesome when he is lucky enough to get another chance to pitch. Reputations are pretty hard to change at that level.
 

johnnywayback

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Apparently he might miss the entire season. That will drop your rankings.
Where's that coming from? I haven't seen a timetable anywhere.

In any event, he's a kid, and a talented one at that. Cutting him because he got suspended for amphetamines (not steroids) and got in a scrap with his roommate (not a bar fight) would be insane.
 

Pilgrim

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Where's that coming from? I haven't seen a timetable anywhere.

In any event, he's a kid, and a talented one at that. Cutting him because he got suspended for amphetamines (not steroids) and got in a scrap with his roommate (not a bar fight) would be insane.
Michael Silverman tweeted this:

Michael Silverman ‏@MikeSilvermanBB 3h3 hours ago
Red Sox GM Hazen confirms Kopech broke hand in fight w roommate. More testing required, unclear if he can pitch this season. (more)

But that sounds like some offhand speculation. Everything else I've seen says its a fracture, which should be more like a 2-3 month injury.
 

smastroyin

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It was speculation, but given throwing hand it's plausible he won't be right for a significant time. I don't know, I had a boxer's fracture, was still able to do most things, but with pain. Not sure how that pain would affect release mechanics, etc. That said, it's obviously going to depend largely on where it is.
 

TomRicardo

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Meh. He's already wasted one season due to the PED suspension, and now he's just wasted another. He's a shithead.
Eh he got caught with an unregulated (aka legal) "drug" called Oxilofrine.

It is in some pre workout packages like this:



It is not like he was off with Manning and ARod getting some custom made roids.

That said he is an idiot getting into a fight that is going to cost him some time.
 

Snodgrass'Muff

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The big dig on him when drafted was that his mechanics were complicated and violent. Two, or even one and a half seasons of lost development time is a major problem and make already long odds of him becoming a productive major leaguer even longer.

At this point he's a lotto ticket you hope you get lucky on. I'd be surprised if he is still a top 100 prospect next winter. This absolutely hurts his value.
 

Eddie Jurak

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The big dig on him when drafted was that his mechanics were complicated and violent. Two, or even one and a half seasons of lost development time is a major problem and make already long odds of him becoming a productive major leaguer even longer.

At this point he's a lotto ticket you hope you get lucky on. I'd be surprised if he is still a top 100 prospect next winter. This absolutely hurts his value.
Maybe when/if he returns, he'll have a faster path to the bullpen.
 

Stanley Steamer

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Good point, Eddie. The bullpen may have been his ultimate destination, and a little mental illness can play up well down there. I agree it's much too soon to cut your losses with a potential assclown, if he throws 97, but he is on his last strike now.
I came mainly to post that I really liked Mike Hazen's comments in the article. He makes it clear to the player that the team is disappointed, but in a measured way. It may be typical PR protocol, but I love it when a person chooses his words carefully.
 

moondog80

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I'm confused why you're using a basketball story to make a point about football in a baseball thread.

I thought it was kind of obvious, but the point is getting is that as reckless as it seems for an athlete to get into a fistfight, for better or for worse it's not exactly uncommon. So let's not write the kid off just yet. The Tom Brady mention was just a dash of "my, how times have changed".
 

moondog80

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That basketball story was also 30 years ago in a far different age of moral norms, social media, and general awareness that it's not OK to act like a shithead.
You think there haven't been hundreds or even thousands of punches thrown involving athletes in the age of social media? Is Kopech worse than all of them because his punch happened to result in a broken hand?
 

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You think there haven't been hundreds or even thousands of punches thrown involving athletes in the age of social media? Is Kopech worse than all of them because his punch happened to result in a broken hand?
Does it matter? He's a fucking idiot. And this is the second season he's pissing away because he doesn't have the good sense God gave a sand gnat.
 

thestardawg

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You don't cut a prospect who is on the cusp of being a top 100 prospect because he got in a fight. Yes, he missed part of last year, but he also pitched for the bulk of it, and pitched extremely well. He's a 19 year old who made a really stupid decision. He comes back and is still an idiot, then do what you must, but pitchers with his skill set don't grow on trees.
 

moondog80

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2 stupids decisions. 2 years wasted.

He pitched, and pitched well, into mid-July last last year, which means he missed about a month and a half. And there have been zero reports that he's out for the year with this. Other than that, "2 years wasted" is 100% correct.
 

smastroyin

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I don't see how the Bird story even relates. Punching a teammate is a lot different than getting into a scuffle with an annoying townie.

As well, the concern is not Kopech's immediate performance, like it would be with Bird (with no real evidence he was affected other than some noise), it's with his development cycle. Getting to the big leagues is really hard, and there is a limited window where Kopech has a chance as a Red Sox. So as Red Sox fans, I think some disappointment is appropriate. I wouldn't release him, but he's not helping his cause. We don't know the effects of last year's suspension. I would imagine he kept throwing on his own during his suspension...did he re-learn habits that he had been trying to break? Who knows. He has really odd mechanics, will a calcified lump on his hand affect the way he throws? It takes months or years for the hard callous to dissipate and the bone to re-take it's original shape. Maybe this is all not worth worrying about. Maybe like mine it's on his fifth metacarpal and doesn't affect his grip at all. Obviously we don't know and won't really have the first hint until he is about two months into the healing process.
 

moondog80

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I don't see how the Bird story even relates. Punching a teammate is a lot different than getting into a scuffle with an annoying townie.

As well, the concern is not Kopech's immediate performance, like it would be with Bird (with no real evidence he was affected other than some noise), it's with his development cycle. Getting to the big leagues is really hard, and there is a limited window where Kopech has a chance as a Red Sox. So as Red Sox fans, I think some disappointment is appropriate. I wouldn't release him, but he's not helping his cause. We don't know the effects of last year's suspension. I would imagine he kept throwing on his own during his suspension...did he re-learn habits that he had been trying to break? Who knows. He has really odd mechanics, will a calcified lump on his hand affect the way he throws? It takes months or years for the hard callous to dissipate and the bone to re-take it's original shape. Maybe this is all not worth worrying about. Maybe like mine it's on his fifth metacarpal and doesn't affect his grip at all. Obviously we don't know and won't really have the first hint until he is about two months into the healing process.

We don't know the details of what happened with Kopech, but to me a 29 year old all-star getting in a drunken, late-night bar fight in the middle of the conference championships is a much bigger sin than what I imagine to be a stupid scuffle between two 19 year old roommates. Sure, it was stupid, and of course some disappointment is appropriate (I'm disappointed too), but what can you do other than apply some reasonable discipline and hope he can put it behind him?
 

JakeRae

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2 stupids decisions. 2 years wasted.
He pitched, and pitched well, into mid-July last last year, which means he missed about a month and a half. And there have been zero reports that he's out for the year with this. Other than that, "2 years wasted" is 100% correct.
Other than the critique above, no one is disputing that this is stupid or that the drug suspension last year was stupid. Kopech has clearly made mistakes and they have cost him time on the mound. That is not a good thing. It's also not something you cut a talented prospect over. That's pretty much all those of us who are pushing back against you are saying.
 

thestardawg

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2 stupids decisions. 2 years wasted.
It's not two years wasted. Bleating out the same message over and over doesn't make it the truth. He missed the end of last year. He pitched most of the year, and then ended up working on pitches while suspended. Last year is a non issue for everyone involved. But by all means continue bleating out half truths.
 

Manzivino

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I give him a pass for the PED suspension itself last year - whatever he took a supplement he shouldn't have, dumb mental lapse, learn from it and move on.

But the result of the suspension should have been a laser focus to make every right decision this season and he fucked it up the first opportunity that presented itself by risking his entire livelihood on a fistfight. It speaks to terrible judgment; granted he's a kid but right now he's the definition of a million dollar arm, 10 cent head and all told he's lost a year of development for completely avoidable bonehead decisions. I wouldn't cut him, but I'd make it absolutely clear to him that he's on his last strike. 19 or not, he decided to turn pro, it's time to grow up and act like a professional.
 

soxhop411

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Looks like a 3-6 week injury

“@MikeSilvermanBB: Farrell: Michael Kopech (hand) looking at approx 3- to 6-week layoff. Still unclear if fracture non-displaced or will require pin. #punch”
 

moondog80

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Looks like a 3-6 week injury

“@MikeSilvermanBB: Farrell: Michael Kopech (hand) looking at approx 3- to 6-week layoff. Still unclear if fracture non-displaced or will require pin. #punch”
Good news. Hopefully he can be making starts by mid-May, Memorial Day at the latest.
 

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pokey_reese

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Fantastic news, if true, as long as it isn't such a small penalty that it prevents him from learning a bigger lesson. Look, at 19, I made some dumb decisions, but I was lucky enough to not have a microscope on me, and God knows, and thankfully no single mistake I made had the chance to derail my future. He might have done something stupid, but he didn't hurt anyone but himself (at least not badly, that I know), and a few teenagers fighting doesn't exactly strike me as a significant moral failure.

I just want him to be a good pitcher, for my team. If this helps him to achieve that end, I will be happy, and I won't have a problem rooting for him.