Chicago White Sox star pitcher Michael Kopech opts out of 2020 MLB season

Feb 20, 2020; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Michael Kopech (34) poses for a photo during media day at Camelback Ranch. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not yet at a point where Major League Baseball has to be concerned, but it’s getting there. On the very same day that former NL MVP Buster Posey has opted out of the 2020 MLB season, a star young hurler followed suit.

Young White Sox hurler Michael Kopech decides to opt out of the 2020 MLB season

“Michael Kopech has informed us of his decision to not participate in the 2020 season,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said in a statement, via the team’s official website. “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.”

This qualifies as some stunning news. Kophech, 24, is currently Chicago’s No. 3-ranked prospect. He has not pitched in the bigs since the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. The Sox were expecting big things from the hard-throwing starter.

Multiple MLB players opt out of the 2020 season

As noted, Posey’s decision earlier on Friday made waves around the baseball world. He’s joined by Los Angeles Dodgers star pitcher David Price as well as three Washington Nationals players on a growing list of those who have opted out of the season due to concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic plaguing the United States.

It’s going to be interesting to see who else decides the risk of playing a 60-game season amid a pandemic just isn’t worth it. Opening Day is coming in less than two weeks.