BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Birmingham Barons and the Southern League office announced today that pitcher Michael Kopech has been named the 2017 Southern League Most Outstanding Pitcher.
"It's a tremendous honor to be named to both the Southern League Postseason All-Star Team, as well as the Most Outstanding Pitcher," Kopech said. "I enjoyed competing against a very talented league and showing what I have. There are many players that I've had the honor of throwing to and against who will be outstanding big leaguers."
Kopech, 21, was 8-7, with a 2.87 ERA in 22 starts for the Barons this season. The No. 1 pitching prospect and No. 12 overall in the MLB, according to MLB Pipeline, left the Southern League on August 18 with his promotion to Triple-A Charlotte amongst the top 10 in many pitching categories. The right-hander is tied for eighth in wins (8), fourth in ERA (2.87), first amongst qualified starters in hits allowed (77), batting average against (.184), strikeouts (155) and strikeouts per nine innings pitched (11.69). Kopech also represented the White Sox in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game in Miami in July, pitching a scoreless inning for Team USA.
Yesterday, Kopech became the first Baron player since Tim Anderson in 2015 and the first Baron pitcher since John Ely in 2009 to be named to the Postseason Southern League All-Star team. Today, Kopech becomes the fifth Baron since 1964 and first since Mark Buehrle in 2000 to be named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher.
"Michael is an outstanding talent and even a better teammate," Barons manager Julio Vinas said. "He made tremendous strides as a player working with (Pitching Coach) Jose (Bautista) this season and we enjoyed having him on the team. Being named the Southern League's Most Outstanding Pitcher is a very prestigious honor and we are excited to see what the future holds for Michael."
The Barons will play their final home game of the season tonight against the Tennessee Smokies, with first pitch set for 7:05 p.m. CT at Regions Field. Left-hander Jordan Guerrero will take the ball for the Barons, while righty Zach Hedges will start for Tennessee. Curt Bloom will bring you all the action starting with the Coca-Cola pregame show starting at 6:55 p.m. on 105.5 FM WERC and the iHeart Radio app.
For ticket information, game schedule, promotions calendar or for additional information about Regions Field, call (205) 988-3200, or visit www.barons.com, www.facebook.com/birminghambarons or on Twitter: @bhambarons.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.