Former top draft pick Phil Bickford suspended 50 games
NEW YORK (AP) Milwaukee right-hander Phil Bickford, the 18th overall pick in baseball’s 2015 amateur draft, has been suspended for the first 50 games of next season following a second positive test for a drug of abuse under the sport’s minor league drug program.
Bickford, 21, is on the roster of Milwaukee’s Class A Carolina Mudcats of the Carolina League. He signed with the San Francisco for a $2,333,800 bonus and was traded at this year’s Aug. 1 deadline to the Brewers along with catcher Andrew Susac for left-hander Will Smith.
Bickford was 7-7 with a 2.93 ERA in 22 starts and one relief appearance for three Class A teams this year, striking out 135 in 120 innings. He pitched in the All-Star Futures Game in San Diego.
In addition, Toronto right-hander Pedro Loficial was suspended for 72 games following a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and Miami outfielder Casey Soltis was banned 50 games following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
Loficial, 21, was 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA in three relief appearances and 6 2/3 innings for the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays.
The 21-year-old Soltis, a fifth-round pick in 2014, hit .190 this year in 52 games at Class A Greensboro of the South-Atlantic League.
Major League Baseball announced the discipline Friday. There have been 95 suspensions this year under the minor league drug program and 13 under the major league program.