Red Sox prospect Michael Kopech suspended

Michael Kopech

Pitcher Michael Kopech (34) of the Greenville Drive warms up before a game against the Savannah Sand Gnats on Thursday, May 7, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Kopech was a first-round pick of the Boston Red Sox in the 2014 First-Year Player Draft. Savannah won in 11, 7-5. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Boston Red Sox 2014 first-round draft pick Michael Kopech was suspended for 50 games on Thursday after the commissioner’s office said he tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance.

The Greenville Drive righty appeared in 16 games this season and was 4-5 with a 2.63 ERA and 70 strikeouts. Last month he was named to the South Atlantic League All-Star Team.

Read more about it here.

He released the following statement to MiLB.com:

“I would like to start by apologizing to all of baseball, baseball fans, and specifically the Red Sox and Red Sox fan base. I respect the game as much, if not more than, anyone else. With that being said, I never have and never will intentionally cheat the game that has been so great to me. I haven’t bought any supplements that aren’t NSF certified for sport. Therefore, I know I have not bought a supplement containing this drug. I have never heard of Oxilofrine, honestly. Apparently, it is a drug that many people use for weight loss. I have been trying to gain weight since I signed with the Red Sox. I do understand this is also a stimulant. This drug would have no positive outcome for me and that’s why I chose to appeal. I realized I didn’t have much evidence to prove that I’m innocent, but I didn’t have any understanding of how I could have failed a test. I respect the system and understand why they have to be so careful with the testing. I also understand why that means my suspension couldn’t have been overturned without proper evidence. I have 50 games to get to work and better myself and as a ball player. Next season I’ll be better than ever. Drug free.”

Yoan Moncada of the Greenville Drive

Second baseman Yoan Moncada (24) of the Greenville Drive watches his game-tying double in the 8th inning of a game against the Charleston RiverDogs on Sunday, June 28, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Charleston cane back to win, 12-9. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

2B Mauricio Dubon of the Greenville Drive

Mauricio Dubon

Second baseman Mauricio Dubon (10) of the Greenville Drive stretches for a ground ball in the second inning of a game against the Kannapolis Intimidators on Monday, June 1, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Greenville, 10-9. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

LHP Matt Tenuta of the Lexington Legends

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Pitcher Matt Tenuta of the Lexington Legends pitches in the rain in a game against the Greenville Drive on Tuesday, April 15, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

RHP Reed Reilly of the Greenville Drive

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Starting pitcher Reed Reilly of the Greenville Drive in a game against the Asheville Tourists on Friday, April 24, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

Reedy Rip’It of the Greenville Drive

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Mascot Reedy Rip’It of the Greenville Drive slaps hands with fans before a game against the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday, April 12, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Augusta won, 2-1. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

C Jordan Procyshen of the Greenville Drive

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Catcher Jordan Procyshen (17) of the Greenville Drive fist bumps with a fan before a game against the Augusta GreenJackets on Sunday, April 12, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. Augusta won, 2-1. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

RHP Kuehl McEachern of the Greenville Drive

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Pitcher Kuehl McEachern of the Greenville Drive in a game against the Asheville Tourists on Friday, April 24, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

1B Nick Longhi of the Greenville Drive

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First baseman Nick Longhi (21) of the Greenville Drive in a game against the Asheville Tourists on Sunday, April 26, 2015, at Fluor Field at the West End in Greenville, South Carolina. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

RHP Mike Foltynewicz of the Atlanta Braves

Mike Foltynewicz

Starting pitcher Mike Foltynewicz (48) of the Atlanta Braves delivers a pitch in a Spring Training game against the New York Yankees on Wednesday, March 18, 2015, at Champion Stadium at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The Yankees won, 12-5. (Tom Priddy/Four Seam Images)

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