Few of us have dug in against a centenarian fastball and listened to our knees knock and pulse accelerate as the ball whistles toward the plate. As the pitcher winds up adrenaline is released through your veins as you prepare to be impaled or take a hell hack in self-defense. 

Ask yourself if you have the courage to stand in against a guy throwing serious heat while trying to make contact, let alone anticipate whether the heater or the hammer is coming and how to time it up. Compound those decisions with keeping your mechanics in order, adjusting to location and making a split-second decision about whether to lift the bat or keep it holstered.

Now, add 50,000 fans with bottled up emotion staring at you in a pressure-packed situation ready to erupt in catharsis if you succeed or rain down vicious criticisms if you fail. Add the general release of control knowing that the pitcher is in his windup and you can’t stop him to collect yourself to the degree of difficulty. It’s coming and there ain’t nothing you can do about it.

That’s just a taste of what it’s like to face someone like Michael Kopech. And if he doesn’t have his control that day…well, get ready to ice yourself down in the clubhouse because it doesn’t tickle.

We all know about Kopech’s historic heat and as we wait with bated breath for him to earn the promotion to the White Sox, many have been calling for for the past two months, just let your eyes absorb the incendiary magic of what a 97-98 mph fastball looks like. Imagine what happens when he dials it up a notch to 100+.

The other video features a less known prospect but one with no less power than Kopech. Ian Hamilton could be the closer for the White Sox sooner rather than later and if Zack Burdi never returns to form from Tommy John surgery, the Sox will certainly need him. He too features a blistering fastball that has become ordinary among closers — 100+ mph fastballs with sweeping sliders or fading cutters.

So, take a minute and be honest with yourself about whether you have the balls to step into that batters box. And then remind yourself of that everytime you want to say “hitting ain’t hard.”