Rarely do the Red Sox select right-handed pitchers in the first round straight out of high school. In fact, over the last 20 years, they've only selected three. Two of the three were unfortunately unsuccessful in reaching their full potential and becoming frontline starters in the MLB.

Michael Kopech, the current ​number 2 pitching prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, is determined to change that.


​Kopech was selected with the 33rd overall pick in the 2014 MLB draft out of Mount Pleasant, Texas High School. The Red Sox were enamored with Kopech's lightning arm speed and his nasty arsenal of pitches. 


At 6'4", his tall lengthy frame, coupled with his unique pitching delivery, and blazing fastball, is a nightmare for hitters. His delivery combines funky movements, which throws hitters off balance and his fastball, which sits in the low 90's and can reach 97mph, looks a lot faster when he mixes in his slider and changeup. At times, he can even make his slider look like a curveball.

Check out some highlights of Kopech pitching in the instructional league:

Coming out of high school, Kopech has been determined to significantly build his frame, which will bode well for him moving forward. So far, it looks like he's coming along nicely:

Drafting players out of high school is a hard decision for any organization to make. Prospects out of high school have limited experience and have a bigger chip on their shoulder. In addition to his impressive skill set, the Red Sox loved Kopech's attitude and work ethic, two vital traits that will help Kopech reach his full potential and realize his dream of becoming a successful MLB pitcher for years to come.


If you haven't already, grab him in your fantasy dynasty league. Kopech is going to be great.

Now that you've learned a little something about Kopech the ballplayer, what about Kopech the person?
​​

In an exclusive interview with TonyC from the #1 Twitter/Instagram account for Red Sox Fans, Kopech discussed his love for baseball and the hard work he's been putting in to reach the big leagues.

Twitter: @BostonStrong_34

Instagram: Bostonstrong_34

Michael Kopech@MichaelKopech5

Michael Kopech: ​Mikop34


​​Below is a transcript of his interview:


1. Your favorite Red Sox player?

Pedro Martinez


2. Your favorite player all time?

Nolan Ryan


3. If you could play any other sport, what would it be?

I would probably say football because I like to work out and I'm a physical person.


4. Funniest teammate and why?

Ex-teammate Javier Guerra. Funniest kid I've ever been around. He's just a great personality in general.


5. What's it like to train everyday knowing you're one of the best pitching prospects in the Red Sox Organization, does it affects you at all or makes you work harder?

I don't really think of myself as a prospect. I just look at as if I train as hard as I can daily then it will take care of itself.


6. How does it feel to play with the Red Sox #1 prospect Yoan Moncada?

It's a lot of fun to watch. He's a very talented athlete with a very high ceiling.


7. Who was the inspiration for your throwing mechanics?

I'd have to say a mix of players. Nolan Ryan & Tim Lincecum had a lot of influence on me with their abilities to create power.


8. How did you adjust your offseason workout schedule after not being able to pitch the last two months of the regular season?

I didn't treat it as an early offseason really. I looked at it as an opportunity to work on some of weak points and develop a better arsenal with my off speed pitches. And started my off season at the same time as everyone else.


9. If you had the chance to hit against any MLB pitcher, who would it be?

I'd have to say Josh Tomlin from the Indians. He's a guy I've had a chance to work out with a lot this off season and I think mainly because I've developed a competitive friendship with him that it'd be a lot of fun to face him.


10. Who’s stronger, Moncada or you?

There are very few players stronger than Yoan. I am not one of those very few haha.


Cover Image Credit - Kelly O'Connor - http://sittingstill.smugmug.com/