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Austin Riley homers in MLB debut

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Braves prospect Austin Riley made his major league debut on Wednesday, starting in left field and batting sixth against the Cardinals. The 22-year-old struck out in his first at-bat in the second inning, but bounced back by crushing his first major league home run leading off the fourth inning against Michael Wacha, boosting the Braves’ lead to 2-0.

Statcast measured the blast at 438 feet and 109 MPH off the bat.

MLB Pipeline rated Riley the No. 4 prospect in the Braves’ system. With Triple-A Gwinnett, Riley hit .299/.377/.681 with 15 home runs and 39 RBI in 162 plate appearances.

Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season

Kopech has opted out
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Michael Kopech has opted out of the 2020 season. The White Sox starter informed the team of his decision today, and the team issued a press release to that affect a few minutes ago.

The statement from general manager Rick Hahn. said “we recognize that reaching this decision is incredibly difficult for any competitive athlete, and our organization is understanding and supportive. We will work with Michael to assure his development continues throughout 2020, and we look forward to welcoming him back into our clubhouse for the 2021 season.”

Kopech, 24, has only four big league starts under his belt, all coming in late August and early September of 2018, but after a strong spring training he was likely to make Chicago’s rotation at some point in the 2020 season after sitting out all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. Kopech was among the players sent to Chicago from the Red Sox in the Chris Sale trade back in December 2016. Others involved in the deal included Yoán Moncada, Victor Diaz, and Luis Alexander Basabe.

Now, however, Kopech has opted out.