Houston Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton has been suspended for 50 games for his second violation of minor league baseball’s drug policy, according to Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. It is unclear when Singleton’s first violation occurred, but the first baseman will now miss a significant portion of the 2013 season. Arguably one of the top prospects within the Astros organization, there had been an outside chance that Singleton could have made his way to Houston sometime late this season but that appears highly unlikely at this point.
Singleton, 21, released a statement through his agents to apologize for his actions:
I was informed today that I have tested positive for marijuana. As a result, I am being suspended for the first 50 games of the 2013 season. I accept the penalty and take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my parents, the Houston Astros, and Jeff Luhnow.
The Astros have been nothing but supportive of me and good to me in my short time with the organization. My hope is to use this as a learning experience and spend the rest of my career proving to myself and the baseball community that this was a lapse in judgment, and is not in any way indicative of my character or my dedication to baseball or my team.
The left-handed first baseman has been considered among the game’s top prospects, checking in at #39 and #34 on Baseball America’s Top 100 rankings each of the past two seasons, and is expected to rank highly once again when this year’s list is released. He spent this past season with Houston’s Double-A affiliate, batting .284/.396/.497 with 21 HR and 79 RBI over 555 plate appearances in 131 games. A former 8th Round selection in the 2009 Draft (by the Philadelphia Phillies), Singleton holds a career line of .291/.394/.470 across four minor league seasons.