Washington Nationals star outfielder Juan Soto has tested positive for the coronavirus and will miss Thursday's season opener against the New York Yankees.
The positive test was first reported by ESPN's Jeff Passan and confirmed by Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo less than five hours before the opening pitch of MLB's first game after the coronavirus pandemic delayed the start of the season.
The 21-year-old had missed time during Washington's Summer Camp to quarantine after being exposed to someone who had tested positive. He is asymptomatic, but will now need to produce two negative tests before being able to join the team.
Soto was instrumental to the Nationals' World Series run last year, batting .282 with 34 home runs and 110 RBIs in the regular season. He hit five homers in the playoffs – including three against the Houston Astros in the World Series.
He has hit 56 home runs since making his major league debut in 2018. In MLB history, only Hall of Famer Mel Ott (61) has more homers before turning 21 years old.