Mount Pleasant’s Michael Kopech Drafted 33rd Overall by the Boston Red Sox
Michael Kopech was drafted by the Boston Red Sox with the 33rd overall pick of the 2014 MLB Draft after a phenomenal set of years at Mount Pleasant High School.
First, the celebration for a 6-foot-4, 195-pound pitcher that posted a .44 ERA and threw 129 strikeouts to 18 walks as a senior.
“It’s one of the greatest days of my life if not the greatest day of my life,” Kopech said. “It’s definitely something I’ve worked for, for a very long time now. Me and my dad have put in a lot of work for it. The fact that it paid off today — I’m still in shock.
“When you think of baseball, you think of the Red Sox. You have Fenway. You have the greatest fans in the world pretty much. You have a winning organization. It’s an honor to be a part of the program and I’m very excited about it.”
But now on the other side of the door, the right-handed pitcher must decide whether he’s going to one day be backed up by the Green Monster or play collegiate baseball at the University of Arizona.
Both options have upside. He can take upward of the 33rd pick’s value of $1.678 million or go to Tucson, Ariz., and potentially up his draft stock even higher three or four years down the road while working toward a college education.
“I’ve got to weigh my options,” Kopech said. “On one side, it’s a very good school. Arizona is a great school and I love Coach (Andy) Lopez and Coach (Shaun) Cole. I couldn’t ask for better coaches. But the fact I just got drafted by one of the greatest teams in the MLB, it’s definitely something I’m going to have to consider.
“I’ve got to look at the big picture and how I’m going to reach my goals faster. It’s something we’re going to talk about for sure.”
Kopech said Arizona’s head coach, Lopez, has not tried to influence the life-changing decision.
Lopez was the first person to text Kopech after he was drafted at approximately 9:15 p.m.
“They haven’t given me much advice about it,” the pitcher said. “They kind of knew throughout the process of where I was going to go (in the draft). I talked to Coach Cole a few times before the draft and Coach Lopez a little bit. Both of them were very understanding and they just told me if I’m drafted high and drafted at a spot where I know I’m going to go out and be successful from the beginning that I should go. They were just being honest with me, and that’s exactly why I love those coaches.”
Kopech has until 10:59 p.m. Central Daylight Time on Aug. 15 to decide. At that point, he will either have to sign a contract with Boston or the Red Sox lose their rights to him and he’ll have to go somewhere outside of the MLB system to play, likely Arizona and the NCAA ranks.
That’s an issue for another day though.
Thursday was all about the celebration.
“My family is kind of like me right now,” Kopech said. “They’re letting it sink in. My mom is bragging on me to anyone she sees, and it hasn’t been a lot of people yet. The next few people she sees, I feel sorry for them. But my parents are extremely proud of me. We have family together because we knew this was going to be a big ordeal. We’re celebrating right now, letting it sink in and being thankful.”
One way or another, the pitcher will shortly have to say goodbye to Mount Pleasant.
“This has been a place where I’ve made a career for myself,” Kopech said. “It’s a small area and everybody knows everybody pretty much. It’s been just that. A place to build a career for myself and now I’ve got to go act upon the career that I made for myself. I appreciate everyone around here that’s helped me around here, especially my two high school coaches. They’ve been nothing but supportive of me since my freshman year.
“I can’t explain how great this place has been for me. It’s been incredible.”