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Kopech clears hurdle with throwing session

White Sox prospect will miss 2019 after Tommy John surgery
MLB.com @scottmerkin

CHICAGO -- White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech, ranked as the No. 18 prospect overall and the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, participated in his first throwing session since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September.

The session took place at the team's Spring Training facility in Glendale, Ariz.

CHICAGO -- White Sox right-hander Michael Kopech, ranked as the No. 18 prospect overall and the club's No. 2 prospect by MLB Pipeline, participated in his first throwing session since undergoing Tommy John surgery last September.

The session took place at the team's Spring Training facility in Glendale, Ariz.

"Today's like that milestone, that first little hurdle to jump before everything kind of starts to take off," Kopech said in a video of the throwing session provided by the White Sox. "Ultimately a year from now, I know that I'm going to be better because of all these minor tweaks.

"These tweaks are going to be what makes me the type of pitcher I want to become in the future, which is top-of-the-rotation caliber and a pitcher that helps us win a World Series."

Kopech, 22, made four starts for the White Sox after being called up from Triple-A Charlotte last season, posting a 5.02 ERA with 15 strikeouts and two walks in 14 1/3 innings. He allowed four home runs and seven runs over 3 1/3 innings at home against the Tigers on Sept. 5, and it was two days later when general manager Rick Hahn announced Kopech sustained a tear in his ulnar collateral ligament and he would be lost for the 2019 season following surgery.

Hahn pointed to boredom as the biggest challenge Kopech will face as he works his way back this season. But Kopech seems to be on the right path and a good path in the recovery.

"I'm feeling good," Kopech said at SoxFest. "I've put myself in a good position with the rehab I've done down there in Arizona and in L.A. this offseason. I'm in about as good of a position as I can be.

"I mean, I'm going to get to watch these guys go out there and compete, and it's going to be a lot of fun. It's going to be tough to sit back and not participate, but I'm going to be the biggest cheerleader there is."

Scott Merkin has covered the White Sox for MLB.com since 2003. Follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin and Facebook and listen to his podcast.

Chicago White Sox, Michael Kopech