It’s showtime for Michael Kopech.
The White Sox’s top pitching prospect, a right-hander, will make his major-league debut Tuesday against the Twins, the team announced Sunday.
“We hope he comes in comfortable, relaxed and focused and just goes out there as himself,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said (via the Chicago Sun-Times). “You don’t know what it’s like until you get here and experience it. Hopefully it’s a good and easy transition and he continues to do what he’s been doing down there, which is execute and trust his stuff.”
Rated the No. 13 prospect by MLB.com, Kopech is 7-7 with a 3.70 ERA at Triple-A Charlotte, but he is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his last seven starts and leads the minor leagues with 170 strikeouts.
More important, he has answered any lingering questions GM Rick Hahn had, and Renteria and the Sox are eager to see him.
“It’s exciting,” Renteria said. “I think it’s an exciting time for all of us. You know, he’s one man. Very gifted, obviously, someone his teammates are sure to welcome. He’s someone that the fans and [the media] have been hoping at some point he’d be getting here.”
It’s another step as the White Sox (46-77) rebuild. The clamor for Kopech and outfielder Eloy Jimenez, the minors’ No. 3 prospect, has grown as they’ve torn up Triple-A.
Now Kopech has arrived.
“Everybody’s expecting big things,” said Kevan Smith, who caught Kopech in Charlotte, “but you’ve got to remember he’s still young. There’s still a development phase to what he’s going through.’’
But who better to give a scouting report than a catcher?
“Any guy that steps in the box, they’re going to, for one, feel his presence out on the mound,’’ Smith said. ‘‘When he’s hitting his spots and filling up the strike zone, he’s an impressive guy to watch.”
Now White Sox fans will get that chance Tuesday in Chicago.