SALEM, Va. (September 7, 2016) - Salem Red Sox righthander Michael Kopech was tabbed the Carolina League Player of the Month for August, the league announced on Tuesday. The award couples with his selection as the circuit's Pitcher of the Week for August 22-28.
In the season's final full month, Kopech was 4-0 with a 2.73 ERA in six starts. He recorded 10-plus strikeouts in four of his six starts in August, including a career-high 11 twice. Overall in 29.2 innings, he struck out 50 hitters against only 14 walks while yielding just 11 hits during the dog days of the season.
The 20-year-old carried a 0.93 ERA into his final start of the season before a tough outing against Winston-Salem. In the first five starts of the month, Kopech yielded only three earned runs in 29 innings with at least seven strikeouts in every game. His 11 strikeouts against Wilmington on August 13 established a new career high, which was matched five days later against Carolina. In his next start against Potomac on August 24, Kopech completed seven innings for the first time in his career, giving up one hit and striking out 10.
Since debuting with Salem on July 7, Kopech has made 11 starts, going 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA across 52 innings. During that stretch, Kopech has struck out an astounding 82 hitters, the most in MiLB. During his time with Salem, 82 of 205 opposing batters faced (40 percent) have struck out for an average of 14.2 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.
Drafted by the Red Sox with the 33rd overall pick in 2014 out of Mount Pleasant (Texas) High School, Kopech is the top pitching prospect in the Boston organization. Baseball America, MLBPipeline.com, and SoxProspects.com all rate Kopech as the fifth-best prospect in the system. He was selected as one of Boston's seven representatives for the Arizona Fall League this coming offseason.
Kopech is the Game One starter for the Red Sox as they take on the Myrtle Beach Pelicans in the South Division Championship Series on Wednesday night at TicketReturn.com Field at Pelicans Ballpark. First pitch is scheduled for 6:05 pm with pregame coverage beginning at 5:45 pm on the Salem Red Sox Baseball Network.