Arkansas Baseball: How former Razorback Kevin Kopps fared in his first pro season

Former Arkansas Baseball player Kevin Kopps (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Former Arkansas Baseball player Kevin Kopps (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

Former Arkansas baseball standout Kevin Kopps has made an immediate impact in his first pro baseball season

With the MLB Postseason getting underway, it got us thinking about Arkansas Baseball and some of the great players this program has produced. Most recently, the Razorbacks produced a stud in Kevin Kopps.

Pitcher Kevin Kopps is one of the greatest players to ever step on the mound for the Arkansas baseball team.

He was the winner of the 2021 Golden Spikes Award, an award given to the best player in college baseball. Kopps is the first ever relief pitcher to win the award, according to a press release by USA Baseball.

During his final season for Arkansas Baseball, Kopps appeared in 33 games for the Hogs, facing 332 batters. He struck out 131 of those batters, finishing the year with a  0.90 earned run average (ERA), per Baseball Reference.

There were questions about his age entering the 2021 MLB Draft, but the 24-year-old right-hander proved the doubters wrong when he was selected in the third round by the San Diego Padres.

Kopps has represented Arkansas Baseball extremely well at the professional level in the few short months since his arrival in the Padres farm system.

The Padres started Kopps out in the Rookie League where he faced 18 batters over four game appearances. He had 10 strikeouts and had an ERA of 1.93, according to Baseball Reference.

San Diego liked what they saw with Kopps and quickly promoted him to Class-A Fort Wayne. There, Kopps appeared in 8 games, facing 29 batters in 8 total innings of play. He once again forced batters into 10 strikeouts and gave up zero runs. He’s credited with three saves, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Kopps was playing lights-out and the Padres decided to promote him to Class-AA San Antonio. It was the end of the season, so he appeared in just two games, facing 8 batters and striking out 2 of them.

Next. Pro Hog NFL Player of Week 4. dark

In total, Kevin Kopps faced 55 batters in the minors this year, striking out 22 of them. He finished the season with a 0.61 ERA, according to Baseball Reference.

If Kopps continues his excellent play in the offseason, it won’t be long before he’s called up to the majors to pitch for the San Diego Padres.