Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes may be a Kansas City Royals fan, but he’s got mad respect for Michael Kopech of the Chicago White Sox.
Patrick Mahomes knows greatness when he sees it, even when it comes to players not on his beloved Royals.
Kopech pitched five innings with 10 strikeouts, the most in under 90 pitches since Chris Sale in 2014, per Christopher Kamka.
It was a monstrous performance indeed.
Patrick Mahomes and Michael Kopech go way back
Mahomes and Kopech go way back, according to Scott Merkin of MLB.com. They were rivals as early as eight years old, both pitching in Texas youth sports.
Mahomes went to Whitehouse HS while Kopech went to Mount Pleasant HS. They even had an epic battle in 2014 when Mahomes threw a no-hitter while striking out 16. Kopech, who had 12 strikeouts and threw a pitch at 98 mph, was ejected in the seventh inning during a dispute at second base.
Scouts turned up in droves to see the two prospects for good reason. Mahomes is now an NFL MVP, while Kopech is making the most of his shot.
Kopech was primed to make waves following his 2018 debut, but he missed the 2019 season because of Tommy John surgery. He then opted out of the 2020 season because of COVID-19.
With so much time in between, his potential may have been forgotten. It certainly isn’t being overlooked now.
Sunday was Kopech’s second start of the season. Increasingly it looks like many more will come. In 15.2 innings this year, he has 27 strikeouts.
Undoubtedly, Mahomes is hoping to one day see Kopech pitch for the Royals. Until then, he’ll have to begrudgingly praise him during his time in Chicago.