This article is part of our Farm Futures series.
It's too early to draw any meaningful conclusions from minor-league play, but I've attempted to do just that here, pinpointing 17 performances by pitching prospects in the first week that could mean something with regard to their short-term or long-term value.
Michael Kopech, CHW: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 8 K at Triple-A Norfolk
What it means: Kopech is who we think he is. He is going to miss Triple-A bats at a ridiculous clip until the White Sox are willing to put up with his command issues in the big leagues. I don't know when that will be, but James Shields has as many strikeouts (one) through two starts as he does hit batsmen and Miguel Gonzalez has a 7.64 FIP, so it really could be any day now.
Walker Buehler, LAD: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K at Triple-A Iowa
What it means: Buehler's workload is being monitored closely at Triple-A, as he was limited to just 72 pitches (45 strikes) despite the fact he was in control throughout his 2018 debut. He is close to being ready to step into the big-league rotation.
Mike Soroka, ATL: 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K at Triple-A Norfolk
What it means: Soroka is going to be a rare pitching prospect who truly doesn't get tested until he gets to the majors. I keep waiting for him to struggle with these