Michael Kopech is the top pitching prospect in all of baseball. A key cog for the White Sox in the Chris Sale trade, the righty with a triple digit fastball was again the subject of trade rumors last week for Orioles star Manny Machado.
However, the White Sox don’t plan on parting with what they hope is their future ace anytime soon.
The Mt. Pleasant, Texas native trains about 70 miles south, at APEC in Tyler. NBC Sports Chicago spent three days with the standout and found that the 22 year old not only wants to be amongst the best in the game, he puts in the work to achieve that dream — a call he hopes happens sooner than later.
Seth Gruen (Bleacher Report/”Big Ten Unfiltered” podcast), Chris Emma (670TheScore.com) and Scott King (WGN Radio) join Kap on the panel. Machado Watch continues. Will the Orioles actually trade him? Meanwhile, has Alex Cobb’s price tag become too high for the Cubs?
Vincent Goodwill joins Kap to talk Bulls and the guys discuss how much Mitch Trubisky needs to win to help his development.
The White Sox are welcoming back two more fan favorites.
They added to their growing list of team ambassadors Friday, announcing that Jose Contreras and Tim Raines will be joining A.J. Pierzynski — who made his own announcement Monday at the Winter Meetings — in returning to the organization.
Like Pierzynski, Contreras was a member of the beloved 2005 world championship squad. He teamed with Mark Buehrle, Freddy Garcia, Jon Garland and Orlando Hernandez to form a formidable rotation that season. Contreras posted a 3.61 ERA during the 2005 regular season but was even better in the postseason, turning in a 3.09 ERA in four starts. He pitched into the eighth inning in each of those starts, including a complete-game effort in Game 5 of the American League Championship Series, which the White Sox won to clinch the pennant.
All in all, Contreras spent six seasons with the White Sox from 2004 to 2009.
Raines, meanwhile, is a newly enshrined Hall of Famer, inducted earlier this year in honor of his 23-year major league career. He spent five of those seasons on the South Side and holds the franchise record in stolen-base percentage. He swiped 143 bags during his White Sox tenure.
Raines hit 98 doubles, 28 triples and 50 homers in a White Sox uniform.
The addition of this latest trio of ambassadors adds to an already impressive group of former White Sox in that role: Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk, Mike Huff, Bo Jackson, Ron Kittle, Carlos May, Bill Melton, Donn Pall, Dan Pasqua and Mike Squires.