As if White Sox fans weren't excited enough about Michael Kopech, they just got another reason to look forward to his one-day arrival on the South Side.
Kopech was named the Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher on Wednesday, deemed the Double-A league's top hurler. He's the first Birmingham Baron to win the award since Mark Buehrle. And things turned out all right for the White Sox and No. 56.
Kopech, who has since been promoted to Triple-A Charlotte, turned in a spectacular season at Birmingham, going 8-7 with a 2.87 ERA in 22 starts.
Kopech is the highest-rated pitching prospect in baseball, per MLB Pipeline, and the No. 12 prospect overall. White Sox fans hope one day he'll anchor the team's post-rebuild rotation. Kopech has made a pair of starts at Charlotte, allowing three earned runs in 10 innings of work.
Acquired in the blockbuster offseason deal that sent Chris Sale to the Boston Red Sox, Kopech is one of three White Sox ranked in the top 12. Yoan Moncada, also acquired in the Sale trade, is No. 1. Eloy Jimenez, acquired in last month's swap that sent Jose Quintana to the Cubs, is No. 7.