Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Socrates Brito has opted out of the 2020 season, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported Tuesday. The decision comes one week after his brother, Edward Brito, died due to complications from COVID-19.
Pirates org OF Socrates Brito’s brother passed away from Covid-19 last week and so he has decided to opt out this season.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 1, 2020
Brito is the second Pirates’ player to opt out this season. Pitcher Hector Noesi opted out prior to the start of the regular season.
The 27-year-old outfielder was one of two Pirates confirmed to have tested positive for COVID-19 prior to summer camp, along with relief pitcher Blake Cederlined. Brito was cleared to return to Pirates camp on July 11.
Brito was a member of Pittsburgh’s 60-player pool this season, meaning he was eligible to be called up to the big leagues. He previously appeared in 99 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Toronto Blue Jays. In 218 MLB plate appearances, he slashed .179/.216/.309 with five home runs and six doubles.
Despite his struggles in MLB, Brito is still considered an intriguing player because of his consistent success against minor league pitching. Last season at Triple-A Buffalo, Brito slashed .282/.328/.510 with 17 homers in 428 plate appearances. His shockingly low .218 BABIP in MLB also suggests he's had more bad luck than anything else against MLB pitching.
It’s expected Brito will continue pursuing his MLB dream in 2021. Right now, family comes first.
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