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michael kopech feels 'huge weight' lifted after full minor-league season


michael kopech had a revelation during a rough june.the top-ranked white sox pitching prospect was thinking about his next step instead of his task at double-a birmingham. that approach may have contributed to his 6.95 era in june — the only month at birmingham where his era jumped above 2.50."i was thinking too far ahead, thinking about maybe a promotion or whatever the case may be," kopech said. "(it was) kind of realizing that taking it day by day, week by week, month by month is more important than looking ahead. there's a plan intact, and i don't make it."for wednesday, that plan for him was to make appearances before the media and fans around guaranteed rate field, though the right-hander was prepared for heavier duty on his visit just in case."i brought my glove if they need me," ko






michael kopech has thorny introduction to cactus league play


michael kopech hasn't pitched above high class a in his three seasons in the minor leagues, and the white sox prospect hadn't participated in major-league spring training before this year.so it would have been understandable if he had been eyeballing robinson cano and nelson cruz in the heart of the mariners' lineup before his sox spring debut tuesday at camelback ranch."in hindsight it's cool, but it's not something i was looking at before the game," kopech said.afterward, however, the 20-year-old right-hander had to explain how such hitters helped give him a thorny introduction to cactus league play. kopech, mlb.com's no. 16 overall prospect, gave up four earned runs in one inning, including a three-run homer to mitch haniger.a longer spring training has given the sox a chance to throw t






with majors on his mind, white sox prospect michael kopech says command progress


the white sox are taking a steady approach to the development of their top prospects this year, making sure the players meet every goal before considering a bump to the next level.that won’t stop double-a birmingham right-hander michael kopech from aiming high this season.“for me, every year is an opportunity to make the big leagues, so i just hope they change their minds i guess,” he said. “my goal in mind is to crack the big leagues at some point this year.”the sox’s no. 2 prospect is making progress toward his ultimate goal and was named the club’s minor-league pitcher of the month after a stellar may.kopech has gone 4-2 with a 2.38 era, 31 walks and 75 strikeouts over 53 innings and 10 starts this year. he has not allowed more than three earned runs in any game this season and has twic






after subpar debut, michael kopech shows white sox what they can expect


when the white sox play their season opener at home three weeks from monday, michael kopech probably will be getting ready for the season in either class a or double a.how long it takes for the talented prospect to make it to the big leagues will depend on his progress and numbers, but the fast lane chris sale and carlos rodon took to the sox is probably out of the question, whether kopech can throw 105 mph or not."the ultimate goal is to dominate at the big-league level for me," kopech said sunday after his second cactus league start. "i realize that may not be right away, but it's about trusting the process."kopech, the 20-year-old phenom acquired in the sale trade, allowed one run on three hits over three innings in a 10-8 loss to the rangers, striking out four.perhaps the biggest takea






after subpar debut, michael kopech shows white sox what they can expect


when the white sox play their season opener at home three weeks from monday, michael kopech probably will be getting ready for the season in either class a or double a.how long it takes for the talented prospect to make it to the big leagues will depend on his progress and numbers, but the fast lane chris sale and carlos rodon took to the sox is probably out of the question, whether kopech can throw 105 mph or not."the ultimate goal is to dominate at the big-league level for me," kopech said sunday after his second cactus league start. "i realize that may not be right away, but it's about trusting the process."kopech, the 20-year-old phenom acquired in the sale trade, allowed one run on three hits over three innings in a 10-8 loss to the rangers, striking out four.perhaps the biggest takea






white sox send their top five prospects to minor-league camp


the white sox delivered on their message that they are taking it slow with their young players this season, sending their top five prospects to minor-league camp tuesday afternoon at camelback ranch.the sox optioned top prospect yoan moncada, no. 2 lucas giolito, no. 4 reynaldo lopez and no. 5 carson fulmer to triple-a charlotte, and they reassigned no. 3 michael kopech to minor-league camp.sox general manager rick hahn has said since january he expected all of their new prospects to start the year in the minors so that they can continue their development, and that didn’t change despite some very successful showings at big-league spring training this year.“for all five of them, we were real pleased,” hahn said. “all the five of them impressed in different ways.”aside from kopech, who is li






white sox's jose abreu to jury: i ate fake passport on way to u.s.


white sox first baseman jose abreu has told a miami federal jury he ate a chunk of a fake passport while flying to the u.s. to cover up his illegal travel as part of a cuban ballplayer smuggling operation.abreu testified wednesday that he ordered a beer on an air france flight from haiti to miami and slowly consumed the page containing a false name and his photo. abreu says he traveled illegally because he was worried about losing the $68 million contract he later signed with the sox.the testimony came in the trial of agent bartolo hernandez and trainer julio estrada, who are accused of alien smuggling and conspiracy.abreu was american league rookie of the year in 2014. last year he had 25 home runs and 100 rbis.captionwhite sox prospect michael kopech on his first start against the marine






white sox send their top five prospects to minor-league camp


the white sox delivered on their message that they are taking it slow with their young players this season, sending their top five prospects to minor-league camp tuesday afternoon at camelback ranch.the sox optioned top prospect yoan moncada, no. 2 lucas giolito, no. 4 reynaldo lopez and no. 5 carson fulmer to triple-a charlotte, and they reassigned no. 3 michael kopech to minor-league camp.sox general manager rick hahn has said since january he expected all of their new prospects to start the year in the minors so that they can continue their development, and that didn’t change despite some very successful showings at big-league spring training this year.“for all five of them, we were real pleased,” hahn said. “all the five of them impressed in different ways.”white sox gm rick hahn on se






white sox send top 5 prospects to the minors


the white sox delivered on their message that they are taking it slow with their young players this season, sending their top five prospects to minor-league camp tuesday at camelback ranch.the sox optioned top prospect yoan moncada, no. 2 lucas giolito, no. 4 reynaldo lopez and no. 5 carson fulmer to triple-a charlotte, and they reassigned no. 3 michael kopech to minor-league camp.general manager rick hahn has said since january he expected all of their new prospects to start the year in the minors so that they can continue their development, and that didn't change despite some very successful showings at big-league spring training."all five of them impressed in different ways," hahn said.aside from kopech, who hasn't pitched above class a, hahn said it's "completely reasonable" to expect






white sox prospects update: michael kopech won't be sidelined for long


michael kopech's strong start to the double-a birmingham season hit a bump when he suffered a mild ankle sprain and was scratched from sunday's start, a white sox official said.but the sox expect the 21-year-old right-hander to recover in time to make his next start thursday.kopech earned his first win tuesday when he pitched six shutout innings of one-hit ball against jacksonville, walking four and striking out eight. he brought his era over four starts to 2.50 with nine hits, 14 walks and 28 strikeouts.director of player development chris getz said reports have been positive as the sox look for kopech to build up his workload after he totaled 121 1/3 innings the last two years in the red sox system."he has come out with his power arm, slider and changeup, and he's been very impressive,"






white sox prospect michael kopech said he almost quit baseball in 2015


white sox prospect michael kopech said he was ready to hang up his cleats after a couple of problems kept him out of baseball for extended absences.the birmingham barons pitcher was a member of the red sox farm system in 2015 when he was suspended for a banned stimulant. the next year he broke his hand fighting a teammate."i was ready to stop playing baseball. i was ready to go home. i didn't know what was going on," kopech told al.com. "i had just sat out for a year straight and didn't know what else to do and i felt that things were piling on top of me and i was feeling misunderstood. the more i pressed, the worse it got."the red sox traded kopech to the white sox in december as part of a package for chris sale. he's 4-4 with a 3.38 era and 94 strikeouts for birmingham this season.kopech






texas sports 'outcast' michael kopech now on white sox fast track


an athletically gifted teenager growing up in northeast texas seemingly has one destiny: play high school football under the glare of friday night lights.for michael kopech, however, it was always about throwing a ball with stitches rather than one with laces.that obsession helped turned kopech into one of baseball's top prospects and the pitcher with a thunderbolt in his right arm is a key component of the white sox's rebuild."i was kind of outcast in high school for not playing football," kopech said after making his debut with triple-a charlotte last week in norfolk. "the head coach was asking me every year to play football and i had my goals set already from a young age and stuck with baseball. so far i like to think it's working out."it has worked because of the vapor trails kopech le






white sox to host prospects michael kopech, eloy jimenez this week


the white sox will welcome two of their top prospects this week to guaranteed rate field — as guests.with many minor-league seasons wrapping up monday, double-a birmingham outfielder eloy jimenez and triple-a charlotte right-hander michael kopech are scheduled to visit chicago on tuesday and wednesday, respectively.the club's nos. 2 and 3 prospects behind yoan moncada, jimenez and kopech could see time in a sox uniform at some point next season, and manager rick renteria is glad to give them an early look at their future team."it gives them a sense of what we're going to be about in the clubhouse," renteria said. "the biggest thing we seek for all players is comfort. confidence is a big part of doing what they do, but also getting to know the surroundings and the people they're going to be






joe maddon calls white sox prospect michael kopech 'very interesting'


rick renteria understands fans who saw white sox prospect michael kopech strike out five cubs batters in two innings friday might already be itching to see him at guaranteed rate field this season.but the sox manager also knows it's his duty this spring to put the brakes on such accelerated dreams for a pitcher who's headed to high a or double a when the club breaks camp."my desire is for people to not grow too impatient because they see the stuff we see over the spring," renteria said saturday. "that's normal. that's ok. hopefully we make decisions that are sound for the long run."in his last two outings since a rocky opener, kopech has allowed one earned run on four hits with a walk and nine strikeouts in five innings. he averaged 100-101 mph with his fastball friday.cubs manager joe mad






white sox prospect michael kopech solid in triple-a debut


michael kopech didn't let a couple of shaky early innings ruin his triple-a debut.the flamethrowing right-hander made his first appearance with charlotte on monday night and yielded two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings during the knights' 4-2 victory over norfolk at harbor park.mixing a fastball that reached 97 mph with a slider consistently in the mid-80s, kopech threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes, while earning the victory."the first couple of innings, it was a little rough," kopech said. "i wasn't able to execute my pitches the way i had been the past few months. my slider is always my strikeout pitch, and i definitely wasn't able to execute that. that led to a few more hits than i was wanting."but after that i got into a rhythm. once all three of my pit






michael kopech bests fellow white sox prospect yoan moncada in futures game


yoan moncada was twinkied out.after his agent admitted to espn in spring training that moncada sometimes ate as many as 85 twinkies a week, the white sox prospect has been repeatedly asked about his affection for the creme-filled snack.is he tired of them yet?"si," he replied.no translation or elaboration was necessary.moncada, of course, is much more than a twinkie-eating machine, as evidenced by his ranking as the top prospect in baseball.it's apparent he's good enough to be playing for the white sox right now, but the sox are in no hurry to bring him into a clubhouse that general manager rick hahn is trying to unload at the trade deadline, so moncada patiently awaits his chance while toiling away at triple-a charlotte.moncada led off for the world team at marlins park on sunday in the 1






michael kopech bests fellow white sox prospect yoan moncada in futures game


yoan moncada was twinkied out.after his agent admitted to espn in spring training that moncada sometimes ate as many as 85 twinkies a week, the white sox prospect has been repeatedly asked about his affection for the creme-filled snack.is he tired of them yet?"si," he replied.no translation or elaboration was necessary.moncada, of course, is much more than a twinkie-eating machine, as evidenced by his ranking as the top prospect in baseball.it's apparent he's good enough to be playing for the white sox right now, but the sox are in no hurry to bring him into a clubhouse that general manager rick hahn is trying to unload at the trade deadline, so moncada patiently awaits his chance while toiling away at triple-a charlotte.moncada led off for the world team at marlins park on sunday in the 1






white sox pitching prospect jordan guerrero has masterful month of june


white sox no. 2 prospect michael kopech deservedly has garnered a lot of attention as he navigates his first season at double-a birmingham, but teammate jordan guerrero is showing there's more than one pitcher worth watching in the barons rotation.guerrero, a 23-year-old left-hander, was named the sox's minor-league pitcher of the month for june after he went 4-0 with a 1.23 era, four walks, 26 strikeouts, a shutout and a .195 opponents' average over five starts. guerrero has allowed two or fewer runs in each of his last six starts, throwing at least six innings in five of them.a 15th-round pick in 2012, guerrero is making strides in his second season at birmingham and owns a 3.51 era over his first 15 starts this year. his 100 strikeouts lead the southern league, for which he was named an






jon lester feels 'weird' and 'naked' as opening night start approaches


without a scouting report, cubs left-handed ace jon lester jokingly provided an evaluation after allowing nine hits in five innings thursday in a minor-league game."we have our a-ball team locked in," lester quipped as he struggled to find the proper arm angle on his fastball to right-hand hitters in a controlled setting.instead of facing the dodgers, pitching in a minor-league game allowed lester to work on mastering certain pitches — albeit in an unlikely environment for him."these settings are so weird," lester said after pitching in front of about 100 fans, minor-league players, coaches and reporters. "it's such a weird time for everybody because at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter."you want to do well and all that stuff, but you're really not going out there to win the gam






white sox make four more roster cuts


the white sox sent four more prospects to the minors wednesday morning, bringing their spring training roster to 37 players with eight days to go in cactus league play.the sox optioned outfielder adam engel and right-hander tommy kahnle to triple-a charlotte and reassigned left-hander jace fry and catcher roberto pena to minor-league camp.engel, who hit .222 with a double and nine runs scored this spring, was among the players competing for the center-field opening. his departure leaves peter bourjos, jacob may and leury garcia as the three options for the position left in camp, while fourth option charlie tilson recovers from a stress reaction in his right foot.kahnle, who posted a 5.87 era in cactus league play, was in competition for one of the final two bullpen spots. the sox have six






white sox prospect michael kopech solid in triple-a debut


michael kopech didn't let a couple of shaky early innings ruin his triple-a debut.the flamethrowing right-hander made his first appearance with charlotte on monday night and yielded two runs on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts in five innings during the knights' 4-2 victory over norfolk at harbor park.mixing a fastball that reached 97 mph with a slider consistently in the mid-80s, kopech threw 92 pitches, 58 for strikes, while earning the victory. "the first couple of innings, it was a little rough," kopech said. "i wasn't able to execute my pitches the way i had been the past few months. my slider is always my strikeout pitch, and i definitely wasn't able to execute that. that led to a few more hits than i was wanting."but after that i got into a rhythm. once all three of my pi






jon lester feels 'weird' and 'naked' as opening night start approaches


without a scouting report, cubs left-handed ace jon lester jokingly provided an evaluation after allowing nine hits in five innings thursday in a minor-league game."we have our a-ball team locked in," lester quipped as he struggled to find the proper arm angle on his fastball to right-hand hitters in a controlled setting.instead of facing the dodgers, pitching in a minor-league game allowed lester to work on mastering certain pitches — albeit in an unlikely environment for him."these settings are so weird," lester said after pitching in front of about 100 fans, minor-league players, coaches and reporters. "it's such a weird time for everybody because at the end of the day, it really doesn't matter."you want to do well and all that stuff, but you're really not going out there to win the gam






cubs' ian happ could hop to majors in 2017


ian happ survived the chicago cubs' latest round of cuts friday and will start in left field saturday against japan.and despite not playing yet at the triple-a level, maddon didn't rule out the possibility that the switch-hitting happ, 22, could reach the majors this season."it’s up to him," maddon said of happ, who is batting .417 with three home runs and nine rbis. "right now he looks great. he’s going to have to go out and play. that’s it. i think he’s really good. he’s a major league player. but he’s kicking it very good."happ has played well at second base this spring despite questions about his defense. his start in left will give a chance to enhance his versatility as well as give the cubs a gauge to see his progress."you don’t know what’s going to happen during the season," maddon






twins' seven minor league clubs all likely playoff-bound for first time


there’s a chance, paul molitor said last week, that the twins might send injured slugger miguel sano on a rehab assignment next week, even though minor league baseball’s regular season concludes on monday.“we’ll take him,” said jake mauer, manager of the class aa chattanooga lookouts. “we can make room, no problem.”actually, the twins will have a full menu of possible destinations, should they decide to plant a big-league ringer in the middle of an affiliate’s lineup. for the first time in the organization’s history, it appears that all seven of the twins’ minor league affiliates, from one-step-from-the-majors rochester to the teenagers on the twins’ dominican rookie-level team, will qualify for their leagues’ playoffs next week.hope they have stocked up on champagne. for the players who a






tim tebow's minor-league baseball season ends quietly


tim tebow wraps up his first minor-league baseball season with .226 average.        






belief in bright future helps ease pain of mounting white sox losses


the rain that fell on general manager rick hahn while he stood on the field before the white sox's scheduled series finale against the yankees on thursday night did nothing to dampen his enthusiasm about the organization's future.earlier in the day, three of the sox's top prospects — yoan moncada, michael kopech and zack collins — were named to play in the all-star futures game on july 9 in miami. in addition, triple-a charlotte's moncada was selected to the international league all-star team."both on the u.s. and world side there are a ton of good players and the fact we were able to get three of our guys in (the futures game) is a testament to those players and the coaches who work with them as well," hahn said. "everyone knows about moncada and his profile — he was mvp of the game last






mariners cut nine players from big league camp, including d.j. peterson and thya


with camp at the midway point, the mariners cut nine players from big league camp on monday.peoria, ariz. — with the mariners’ minor league camp officially opening for spring training, the team made some expected cuts from the major league camp. nine players were sent over to the minor league side to get normal workouts and minor league spring training games.optioned to class aaa tacomaoptioned to aa arkansasre-assigned to minor league campmost read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.players on the 40-man roster are optioned to specific minor league affiliates while players not on the 40-man roster are re-assigned to minor league camp and then will be assigned to affiliates.the two most notable cuts are peterson and vieira.peterson was hitting .467 (7-for-12) with two doubles,






new padre matt szczur was caught off guard after being let go by cubs


matt szczur's time with the cubs this season was all work and almost no play.the outfielder made 23 plate appearances in 15 games but didn't see himself as the odd man out.szczur, who was out of minor-league options, then received the dreaded designated for assignment call, meaning the team had a week to either trade him or leave him open for other teams to claim on the waiver wire.the surprise turned out to be a blessing in disguise for szczur, who after a couple of days in limbo, was sent to the padres on monday for minor-league pitcher justin hancock."i didn't see that coming at all because we had eight pitchers in the bullpen already," szczur said of the cubs parting ways with him. "so i was kind of caught off guard. but i was relieved."it was tough, you know, where i wasn't helping my






top prospect shortstop franklin barreto called up by the a's


oakland – the anti-aging trend for the a’s took another huge step forward saturday morning with oakland calling up no. 1 prospect franklin barreto.the shortstop will take the place of infielder/outfielder chad pinder, who has been alternating between right field and shortstop of late. pinder suffered a hamstring injury in friday’s 3-0 win over the white sox.barreto, 21, will join a team that has spent much of the last 10 weeks calling up position players from triple-a nashville, of whom pinder is one.baseball america has ranked barreto as the a’s top prospect for the last couple of years. he owns a .281/.326/.428 slash line this season with triple-a nashville to go with eight home runs and 32 rbi in 68 games.he’s been on a particularly hot roll of late with seven multiple-hit games in his






after attending soxfest, brielle biermann lobbies for a 'real housewives of chic


in her first trip to chicago, brielle biermann visited cloud gate, hub 51, rpm italian and soxfest over the weekend with her boyfriend, white sox pitching prospect michael kopech.the 19-year-old atlantan told the tribune by phone that she found chicago to be "like a cleaner new york. it's less busy, and the people are so much nicer." but something seems to be missing: reality tv eras."i tweeted ('the real housewives' executive producer andy cohen monday) actually and i said, 'ohmigosh, let's do a 'real housewives of chicago. i'll be the kim, and all we have to do is find a sheree and nene.' and i met tim anderson's wife bria and i really love her, and like, she's the sweetest person ever, so i'm like, 'let's get her on board,'" biermann said.biermann's mom, kim zolciak biermann, was a orig






white sox no. 9 prospect alec hansen focusing on development


the white sox have worked with alec hansen on mechanical adjustments and the development of a changeup since selecting him no. 49 overall in the 2016 draft. but the 6-foot-7 right-hander can think of another reason he has started well in his first 10 months in the organization.he finally can relax.once projected as a possible no. 1 overall draft pick, hansen slipped to the sox in the second round after a junior season at oklahoma that hansen recently called "kind of a failure."under the pressure of keeping up his draft stock, hansen battled control issues and posted a 5.40 era with 39 walks and 75 strikeouts over 51 2/3 innings, though he thought he improved late in the year."i know people had expectations of me, but i had greater expectations of myself," hansen said. "i put too much press






lucas giolito to make white sox debut monday; michael kopech promoted to triple-


white sox prospects lucas giolitoand michael kopech each have a promotion coming monday.the sox announced friday that giolito, currently pitching with triple-a charlotte, will start one game of the doubleheader against the twins at guaranteed rate field on monday, when the team is allowed a 26th player.the sox have not announced which game giolito will pitch, and manager rick renteriadidn't reveal whether giolito would stay in the rotation when they must send a player back to the minors.kopech will be promoted from double-a birmingham to charlotte and will make his debut monday at norfolk, va."(giolito) is throwing a lot more strikes, using his secondary pitches very effectively," renteria said. "i'm sure he's continuing to grow and get more comfortable in his own skin. it's basically conf






tim tebow is just like any other mets minor leaguer who happens to be a huge sta


tim tebow arrived at the new york mets’ spring training complex on monday and headed for the side for the minor league camp, as opposed to the part of first data field where the major league camp takes place.but make no mistake about it — tebow is no ordinary minor league player. though his playing ability has led some to question whether he even belongs in the lower camp, the former college football and nfl star is the only non-roster invitee to hold a news conference upon his arrival.also, his jersey is hanging for sale at camp, next to those many of the big-league team's stars.mets manager terry collins has said tebow will be one of several minor league players who will get the opportunity to play in at least one grapefruit league game with the big-league team.“when they tell me that ti






tim tebow is just like any other mets minor leaguer who happens to be a huge sta


tim tebow arrived at the new york mets’ spring training complex on monday and headed for the side for the minor league camp, as opposed to the part of first data field where the major league camp takes place.but make no mistake about it — tebow is no ordinary minor league player. though his playing ability has led some to question whether he even belongs in the lower camp, the former college football and nfl star is the only non-roster invitee to hold a news conference upon his arrival.also, his jersey is hanging for sale at camp, next to those many of the big-league team's stars.mets manager terry collins has said tebow will be one of several minor league players who will get the opportunity to play in at least one grapefruit league game with the big-league team.“when they tell me that ti






white sox move prospect michael kopech to pitch in simulated game


white sox no. 3 prospect michael kopech will throw in a simulated game rather than pitch sunday against the diamondbacks at salt river fields.sox pitching coach don cooper said he moved kopech to a three-inning simulated game tuesday with veteran pitcher derek holland so that he can do more focused work. kopech allowed four earned runs on three hits and a walk in one inning in his first cactus league start against the mariners. he struck out two.“we’ve got to get him stretched out,” cooper said. “in a controlled setting like that, we can get specific work. let’s go out for this inning and work on fastballs arm-side or work on changeups this inning. it’s specific work for him.”cooper watched left-hander carlos rodon pitch his second bullpen of the year sunday. he expects rodon to take two d






'relaxed' yoan moncada upbeat about time in white sox camp


yoan moncada could feel a significant amount of pressure to force his way into the white sox picture early this season.if it's not enough the infielder is ranked the no. 2 prospect in all of baseball by baseball america, then consider that the sox gave up one of the best pitchers in the game to acquire moncada, michael kopech, luis alexander basabe and victor diaz in december.but after the sox sent him to minor-league camp this week to prepare for his start with triple-a charlotte, moncada said he isn't out to prove himself as a player worth the stomach-churning price of parting with chris sale."i don't really feel the pressure because of that situation," moncada said through a team interpreter. "i feel good, relaxed and i'm just trying to enjoy this team. … the experience that i had with






some white sox players are looking forward to chris sale's return


chris salewill pitch for the sox again tuesday at guaranteed rate field.but the left-hander will be on the mound representing the red variety when he makes his first start against the white sox, with whom he spent his first seven seasons.sale was traded to boston in december for a haul of prospects, including second baseman yoan moncada, who is rated as the top among his peers in minor-league baseball, and pitcher michael kopech.the five-time all-star's return generated some excitement in the white sox clubhouse sunday morning before the sox defeated the tigers 7-3.jose quintana, who will pitch opposite sale on tuesday, saved his "bests" for describing his former teammate."it's good to face the best left-hander in the league," quintana said. "he's the best teammate of the pitchers i've had