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Luke Prokopec

Luke Prokopec - RHP
Hometown: Blackwood, SA
Debut: 4 September 2000
Final Game: 23 August 2002
Teams played for: Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays

After a century-long hiatus between the first Australian Major Leaguer and the second, South Australian Luke Prokopec became the tenth Australian to make his MLB debut in the 20th century.

Born near Adelaide, Prokopec attended high school in Renmark, close to the Victorian border. The Los Angeles Dodgers signed him as an amateur free agent in 1994 when he was just 16 years old.

Prokopec first appeared in the Minors three years later, debuting for the Class A Savannah Sand Gnats in 1997. He spent three seasons in the Minors before the Dodgers called him up from Double-A towards the end of the 2000 season.

Prokopec dominated his debut, pitching three scoreless innings to finish a 12-1 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. He appeared in five games for Los Angeles in 2000, ending the year with a 1-1 record and 3.00 ERA in three starts and two relief appearances.

During the 2000 and 2001 seasons, the Dodgers' Aussie pitching tandem of Prokopec and Jeff Williams gained a loyal following in the Los Angeles area. Despite the fan support, Prokopec had an average sophomore campaign, posting an 8-7 record and 4.88 ERA in 22 starts in the 2001 season.

Prokopec's career took an unfortunate turn after the Dodgers traded him to the Toronto Blue Jays in December 2001. In 22 games with the Blue Jays in 2002, Prokopec's record was 2-9 and his ERA ballooned to 6.78. The arm injuries that would eventually end Prokopec's career affected him that season, beginning with the torn labrum he suffered in August. Recurring issues revolving around the labrum stopped Prokopec from appearing in another MLB game after 2002.

View Luke Prokopec's career statistics from Baseball Reference