The 6 foot 3 inches Michael Kopech is turned some heads on Tuesday after a fastball was registered at 110 mph. Being a baseball collegiate athlete I had to check out this stud throw. After reviewing the video I believe Kopech’s throw is more athletic than it is a showcase of his abilities.
First a step back, Kopech was one of the Red Sox top pitching prospects that was traded away this offseason for a stud lefty pitcher, Chris Sale. There were also a few other players involved, but focusing in the two top pitchers in this trade is key in my opinion. Chris Sale is a proven top pitcher in the league, but his herky jerky delivery makes me believe he may experience some arm problems in the future, never wish injury upon someone, but in recent years it is hard to dispute the fact that pitchers are experiencing more arm injuries than ever before. As I stated before Kopech is a tall human being at 6 foot 3 inches, put him on a mound and he gains a few inches. A great advantage to being tall is being able to stride out farther and feel like you are right on top of the hitter when you deliver a pitch. Kopech will be pitching for the White Sox soon, he will be good, but will he throw 110?
Let’s start with the program Kopech is using during his offseason. It is the Driveline offseason throwing program, which is said to increase your fastball velocity by at least 5 mph if you follow the program to a T. Having done the program myself I can say first hand it helps strengthen your arm, but the book is still out on the MPH increase. What I can also tell you is this program puts immense amounts of stress on your elbow and shoulder. I am not a freak athlete like Kopech, I am not 6 foot 3 inches, and I do not receive top notch care throughout the offseason. Am I skeptical of this program? Absolutely, only should be performed by elite athletes and even then arm problems may occur.
Next, the ball, it is blue and weights 3oz. A regular size baseball weighs 5oz so right there it would add some MPH to his throw. The reason the program uses a lighter ball is because pitchers should feel their arm move at its fastest potential, therefore, leading to great stress on that elbow. Lastly, the crow hop or should I say the 10 yard run up to produce has much speed as Kopech can before he hurls this ball into a net. This throw is a max velo throw, everything Kopech has is put into this throw multiple times.
Now don’t get me wrong chucking 110 mph is impressive no matter who you are, but I am sure many other MLB pitchers could produce very similar numbers. Unlike Sale, the book is still out on Kopech because he has not yet reached the show. All in all, simmer down White Sox fans, 110 is a big number, but it is all about location, location, location. Lets just hope his health will remain the same and can prove me and many others wrong.