Michael Kopech continues to rack up the strikeouts and put together his most electric performance in a White Sox uniform on Friday afternoon against the cross-town rival Cubs.Kopech -- the No. 16 overall prospect and No. 3 in the White Sox system -- used his upper-90s fastball to strike out
Michael Kopech continues to rack up the strikeouts and put together his most electric performance in a White Sox uniform on Friday afternoon against the cross-town rival Cubs.
Kopech -- the No. 16 overall prospect and No. 3 in the White Sox system -- used his upper-90s fastball to strike out five in two innings. The 20-year-old gave up just one hit and struck out the side in the seventh, his second inning of work. He also gave credit to his catcher, Geovany Soto, for the dominant outing.
"It was the way that Soto took me under his wing today," Kopech said. "I came out there and the first thing he said was, 'Let's have fun. Let's get after it.' The way he was calling pitches and being aggressive with me behind the plate, that made me more aggressive toward hitters. We fell in line, and everything worked out the way it was supposed to work out."
The right-hander struck out a career-high 86 in 56 1/3 innings across two levels in the Red Sox farm system in 2016 and was traded as part of the Chris Sale deal in December. He has continued to show a knack for striking out opponents in his early days with the White Sox. Through three Spring Training appearances, Kopech has struck out 11 in seven total innings.
More notable performances from top prospects:
• Austin Meadows (Pirates' No. 2, No. 9 overall) continues to swing the bat well and has hits in five of his past seven games after going 2-for-5 against the Orioles. The multi-hit effort was the first of the spring for the 21-year-old outfielder, who is hitting .320 through 13 games.
• Francis Martes (No. 20 overall) made his fourth appearance of the Grapefruit League and showed everyone why he's regarded as the Astros' top prospect. The 21-year-old right-hander was untouchable in three innings against the Red Sox. Martes faced just nine batters and struck out three.
"That's a big arm," Red Sox manager John Farrell said of Martes. "He's powerful. He's got some quality secondary stuff. He's consistently in the mid-90s. He's a good looking power pitcher."
• Tyler O'Neill (No. 36 overall, Mariners' No. 2) extended his hitting streak to three games and hit his first homer of Spring Training. O'Neill hit a two-run blast off Dodgers' ace Clayton Kershaw in the fourth inning and finished the night 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
• Jake Bauers (Rays' No. 4, No. 76 overall) had just one at-bat Friday, but made it count, blasting his third Spring Training home run. Bauers, a 21-year-old outfielder, flashed some power last season, as he hit a career-high 14 homers in 135 games with Double-A Montgomery.
•Derek Fisher (Astros' No. 4, No. 83 overall) snapped out of a little 0-for-8 funk with a two-run double in Houston's ninth-inning comeback against Atlanta. Fisher, who finished 1-for-3 with three RBIs, also drove in the Astros' first run of the game via a sacrifice fly in the seventh and scored the game-winning run when Jack Mayfield brought him home after the double.
• Cardinals' No. 5 prospectHarrison Bader bumped his Spring Training batting average up to .364 with his third multi-hit game. The outfielder went 2-for-3 and is 5-for-7 in two games against the Mets.
• Trey Mancini (Orioles' No. 5) began the holiday in style with a solo homer in his first at-bat Friday against the Pirates. Mancini hit 23 homers between the Majors and Minors in 2016 and has two so far in spring.
• Alen Hanson (Pirates' No. 17) increased his hitting streak to four games and his batting average up to .379 with his first three-hit game of Spring Training. Hanson, a 24-year-old second baseman, scored a pair of runs and finished 2-for-5 with a double.
• Rangers' No. 4Ronald Guzman drove in his first runs of Spring Training and hit his first homer when he hit a three-run go-ahead homer in the Rangers win over the Angels.
• Rays' No. 15 Jaime Schultz continued his strong campaign with two hitless innings against the Twins. Schultz struck out two and walked one for his only blemish of the afternoon. The right-hander has held opponents scoreless in five of six appearances and has a measly 0.90 ERA through 10 innings.
• Jordan Montgomery (Yankees' No. 13) earned a four-inning save and helped close out the Yankees' no-hitter with four perfect innings against the Tigers.
"I'm happy for our guys," Yankees' manager Joe Girardi said. "They pitched well, we played really good defense behind them, and it's fun. Obviously it means more if it's during the regular season, but still, it's a no-hitter."
Montgomery, a lefty, struck out two and also received some help from the team's No. 12 prospect Tyler Wade, who made a diving catch in the sixth.
William Boor is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor.