Has the pitching displayed this season by Kevin Kopps enough to have him considered in the same breath as other Razorback legends like Darren McFadden?
Something that made McFadden so great early on was the promise he showed even as a true freshman.
During his Razorback career, Kopps had been up and down. It all started in 207 when he was a freshman righty with an ERA of 3.31 in his five starts. He would finish with a 3-1 win-loss record, 49 innings pitched with 46 hits allowed. With the ability to throw strikes, he had a 65-percent strike-ball ratio.
He would miss the 2018 College World Series Finals trip but was around for the one the next season. Kopps would finish with a 6-3 record with an improved 3.18 ERA. Coming into his own, Kopps was just becoming the closer that he is today.
Similar to McFadden’s first two seasons, we saw Kevin Kopps blossom. The best was yet to come.
Because the 2020 season was cut short due to Covid-19 we won’t even refer to it. The 2020 Diamond Hogs season was off to a rough start anyway.
Moving on. This is where I think Dillon brings up his statement: “Kevin Kopps is the most must-see Razorback since Darren McFadden” and right now I say yes.
You can look at the statistics which I’ve lined out. You can go back in time and watch the progression he’s made as a pitcher since he has been a Razorback and tell that Kopps has IT.
Kopps has carved out his niche. He knows his breaking ball and sliders are nearly un-hittable. His change up is remarkable. Heck, his fast ball will surprise you! The biggest thing is he knows he is good at what he does and he throws it with confidence and that’s hard to stop.
The man currently has a 10-0 record, 10 saves, 0.81 ERA and struck out 105 batters with only 15 walks. Oh, he’s only allowed six runs. Kopps has done all this in 28 appearances which makes it more spectacular.
What we are seeing this season will likely never be replicated again.
The season that Kopps is having is one that will be remembered forever. If the Razorbacks ride him during the NCAA Tournament and to a national championship he could go down as one of the best Razorback pitchers of all time.
Kopps is already having the greatest single season pitching performance in Razorback Baseball history.
Like McFadden’s impact on the football field, where would this baseball team be without Kopps?
Need a big inning? Call the Kopps!
Need a first down or big play? Call DMac!
Need to get out of a jam to save the side? Call the Kopps!
When the Hogs are six to nine outs away from the Super Regionals Dave Van Horn will likely.... CALL THE KOPPS!
Need to strike out nine straight batters at South Carolina to win game one of the series? Call the Kopps!
That in and of itself makes him the most must-see Razorback athlete since McFadden.
Yes, I agree.
Razorback fans, feel free to follow me on Twitter @jacobscottdavis for daily Razorback athletic updates, thoughts and talks!