National pitcher Michael Kopech delivers a pitch during the 2013 Under Armour All-American Baseball game. He was drafted by the Red Sox in 2014.
Reid Compton-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Phillips
The Boston Red Sox selected right-hander Michael Kopech in the first-round of the 2014 MLB Draft, and just more than a year later he has been suspended 50 games. Kopech was nicked after a positive test for the stimulant Oxilofrine.
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Kopech was the 33rd pick in the 2014 draft out of Mount Pleasant High School in Texas. The lanky, hard-thrower signed for $1.5 million and is considered one of Boston’s top prospects. So far in 2015 he boasts a 4-5 record with a 2.63 ERA, 70 strikeouts and just 27 walks in 65.0 innings pitched.
Kopech has an awkward delivery but can run his fastball up to 97 mph. At 6-foot-3 and 200 pounds, he has the frame to develop even more velocity. In short: the Red Sox have really high hopes for Kopech, so this is a pretty serious blow.
While missing 50 games isn’t a huge deal when you’re still just 19 years old, it’s not a good look for the youngster. He will miss the rest of the minor league season.