Chris Getz

Chris Getz on Michael Kopech: 'He’s got no interest in being second best'

Chris Getz on Michael Kopech: 'He’s got no interest in being second best'

With his MLB debut a day away, the Michael Kopech hype train is rolling full steam ahead.

Chris Getz, the White Sox farm director, did nothing to really slow that train down. Getz was interviewed during the NBC Sports Chicago broadcast and it was all about the pitching prospect and his upcoming debut.

“His stuff is unique,” Getz said. “It’s front-line repertoire, there’s no question. But he’s got such a competitive mindset. He’s got no interest in being second best. He’s a great teammate. He’s a great person. He’s everything you ask for in a guy to be on a team to compete for championships.”

Getz said Kopech has become more confident with his curveball in his last six or seven starts. The “six or seven starts” timeframe is something both general manager Rick Hahn and Charlotte Knights pitching coach Steve McCatty said verbatim in other interviews on Monday. Apparently they saw what they wanted to in terms of Kopech’s development.

Kopech had a 1.84 ERA with 59 strikeouts and four walks in 44 innings in his last seven starts with the Knights. He also didn’t walk any batters in his last three starts over 20 innings.

“He’s got a lot of momentum going right now,” Getz said. “He’s in a very good position for success. He’s right where you want a player to be when we graduate them to the major leagues.”

McCatty, when talking about Kopech on ESPN 1000 with Fred Huebner, said Kopech’s fastball, slider and curveball are all plus pitches.

McCatty also has some experience with big time prospects coming up to the majors. He was the Nationals pitching coach when Stephen Strasburg made his major league debut in 2010. He had some advice for Kopech for his White Sox debut.

“I told him make sure you’re not throwing 102 in the first inning,” McCatty said with a laugh. “He’s gonna be exciting. He’s a specially talented kid. There’s no question about it.”

In Getz’s in-game interview with Jason Benetti and Steve Stone, Benetti asked about Kopech’s upside. Getz didn’t temper expectations in his response.

“To be a front end guy,” Getz said. “He’s got all the ingredients that all the best pitchers have. Michael, he’s going to be himself. He’s got a great personality. He’s got great stuff on the mound. He’s just going to be a guy that’s got a chance to be in the major leagues for a long time at the front end of a major league staff. In terms of throwing comparisons out there, there’s no need to do that. He’s going to be himself and he’s going to be a good one.”

Chris Getz on Eloy Jimenez: 'We’re getting very close'

Chris Getz on Eloy Jimenez: 'We’re getting very close'

Eloy Jimenez didn't play on Sunday, but when he makes his major league debut continues to be a hot topic for White Sox fans.

The uber prospect has ripped apart Triple-A pitching since moving up from Double-A in June. Jimenez is hitting .376/.425/.679 in 29 games with the Charlotte Knights.

White Sox director of player development Chris Getz was on 670 The Score's Hit & Run show on Sunday and talked about a number of prospects in the farm system, beginning with Jimenez.

"He’s one of those players that you rarely see seamlessly kind of move through the minor leagues and I would imagine he’s not going to waste any time at the major league level," Getz said. "We would just want to make sure he’s as well-rounded as possible whether that be baserunning, defensively, obviously offensively and we’re getting very close. I think when that time comes I’ll be excited to see what happens, but all signs point to plenty of success to come in the major leagues for Eloy.”

The 21-year-old Jimenez is ranked as the No. 3 overall prospect by MLB Pipeline. The White Sox could play the waiting game with him given that the major league team doesn't have anything significant to gain the rest of this season. They also could get another year of control and wait until mid April like the Cubs did with Kris Bryant in 2015.

Either way, there's no denying Jimenez's production since being traded to the White Sox last July. 

“Once we acquired him in the trade last year he’s done nothing but perform offensively," Getz said. "This guy has been able to drive the ball to all fields. He seems to be able to set up pitchers, he’s very advanced. Each level brings new challenges. The Double-A level I’d say generally speaking more of a fastball type level. Then you go Triple-A when you’ve got some veterans, some guys that have been in the major leagues, some six-year free agents, they pitch backwards. But he’s been able to close the gap at each spot."

Getz also talked about Michael Kopech, who has been on fire lately for Charlotte after a midseason slump.

“It’s been an interesting season," Getz said of Kopech. "I think ultimately for his long-term development a lot of good things he went through this year. It hasn’t been completely smooth, but that’s a good thing. He’s in a good spot right now. He’s commanding his fastball the best he has. He’s differentiating his curveball, his slider. He’s getting more consistent with those. He’s getting more confident with his changeup.”

Kopech struck out nine and didn't walk any batters in a start Sunday. He allowed two runs in seven innings. On the season Kopech has a 4.05 ERA with 152 strikeouts and 60 walks in 113 1/3 innings.

“Michael is a very confident player and we feel that he is going to be an impactful type starter in the major leagues and there’s a chance it happens very soon," Getz said.

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox minor league system with Chris Getz

White Sox Talk Podcast: Inside the White Sox minor league system with Chris Getz

White Sox Director of Player Development Chris Getz came on the podcast to talk with Chuck Garfien about many of the top prospects in the minor league system.  What does Eloy Jimenez have to do to make it to the majors?  What needs to happen for Michael Kopech to be promoted?  Why are Joel Booker and Blake Rutherford having such big seasons? Was Laz Rivera the steal of the 2017 draft?  Getz answers those questions and many more.

Listen to the full episode here or via the embedded player below