Boston Red Sox minor league pitcher Michael Kopech suspended 50 games
Right-handed pitcher Michael Kopech has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for the banned stimulant Oxilofrine, reports The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham.
The 19-year old Kopech was a supplemental first-round draft pick in 2014 who the Boston Red Sox selected 33rd overall and signed to a $1.5 million bonus. He is currently with Single A Greenville, but considering his team only has 50 games remaining on their schedule, this suspension essentially ends his season.
Since the suspension is for a stimulant rather than a performance enhancer, Kopech would be eligible to return for the playoffs if Greenville qualifies for postseason play. It remains to be seen if Greenville would use him in the rotation for a playoff game following such a lengthy absence, but it at least provides a glimmer of hope that his 2015 season isn’t quite done yet.
Kopech was 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA and 9.7 K/9 in 16 appearances with Greenville. Despite his limited experience, he is already considered one of the organizations brightest young pitching prospects.
SoxProspects.com rates Kopech as the 8th best overall prospect in the system and 4th best pitcher, while MLB.com puts him at 10th in the Red Sox minor league system.