Giving you a little looksie behind the curtain at Razzball HQ, where I’m not wearing pants and have had multiple lawsuits levied against me, I asked Prospect Itch to give me about 20 names of prospects who will be relevant for 2020, and rank them in order of 2020 relevancy, so I could give you a breakdown of each one, from best to worst. He’s our prospect writer, hence the 1st name, and he knows all of these guys way more in-depthly (totally a word!) than I. My focus is on 2020. After watching some videos of these guys, I could see why they’ll be relevant in 2020 and beyond, but this is about 2020 for me. This is why I didn’t write a post about Wander Franco, and might not. (Still debating it, seems super doubtful though.) With that said (Grey’s turning the ship around!), I don’t know if Michael Kopech will be relevant in 2020, and, therefore, ergo, vis-a-vie, we’re getting towards the end of my fantasy rookie series, when I’m going over guys who might not be relevant this year. (If you have any names of rookies for 2020, who I haven’t covered yet, mention them in the comments.) So, what can we expect from Michael Kopech for 2020 fantasy baseball?
Can I say nothing and move on? No? Okay. Michael Kopech went under the knife for Tommy John on September 19th of 2018. Tommy John is one freaky-deaky, watching people have surgery, huh? That puts Kopech at about 18 months from surgery on Opening Day. Even longer if you’re on the Jewish calendar. That’s plenty of time for him to return to pitching in 2020, which is why I’m even talking about him. White Sox have already said he will have no restrictions in 2020. If his path leads him right to the majors, it would mean he went from the minors to the majors for 14 1/3 IP to Tommy John surgery and back to the majors. That feels a bit aggressive, no? Even if the surgery fell at an opportune time, giving him two full offseasons. Johnny Cueto had his Tommy John about a month prior, and just returned at the tail end of this year. Lance McCullers had his a little after Kopech and hasn’t returned yet (likely ticketed for Opening Day though). So, Kopech should be ready to throw in March, get sent to the minors for a hard-to-determine amount of time, then return to the majors. That middle peccadillo is the pickle — pickle-dillo? Will Kopech be in the minors until May? June? July? August? September? I have no idea. My guess is June, but that timetable could be wildly optimistic. Why do we care at all? Because he could be the best minor league arm to come up in 2020. He’s a boneheaded one, too. He used to date the daughter of the crazy white lady from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, then he dated that girl from Riverdale, and I guess when I say Kopech is boneheaded, I should explain I wouldn’t mind boneheading like him. Yo dude is a baller! He’s also legit dopey. At one point, he broke his hand punching a teammate. This guy has years of ridiculousness headed our way, and we should be grateful for that. He reminds me of Syndergaard with command issues, but those could clear up quickly; he’s only 23. (Reminder that Tommy John usually adds some command issues upon return.) He chucks a plus-plus fastball that touches triple digits, a plus slider and respectable change. He’s the kind of arm that could be way more valuable in fantasy than real life, even if he doesn’t get his shizz together. Think Trevor Bauer, Robbie Ray or any big-time strikeout arm that is wild eh-eff at times. For 2020, I’ll give Michael Kopech projections of 4-6/4.29/1.40/72 in 64 IP with obviously a chance for much more (or less).