A bad day for the Rays gets worse, as shortstop prospect Tim Beckham has been suspended 50 games for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a second time. Details are few at this time, but an MLB release terms the substance in question as "a drug of abuse." More specifically, CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reports that Beckham was disciplined for using a "recreational drug."
“I regret that my poor judgment resulted in me letting my teammates and the Tampa Bay Rays organization down," Beckham said in a statement. "I take full responsibility for my actions and I will use this experience to refocus my commitment to baseball. I recognize that I am blessed to be able to play baseball for a living. I owe it to my teammates, my family, and to myself to respect the game and the responsibilities that go with playing it as a professional. I am sorry.”
"We are very disappointed by Tim's actions," Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "Tim possesses great potential, and he must rededicate himself in order to become the person and player we know he can be.”
The 22-year-old Beckham was hitting just .204/.290/.278 for Triple-A Durham this year and is a .263/.330/.379 career hitter across parts of five minor-league seasons. Despite the underwhelming numbers, he was likely in line for a call-up at some point during 2012.
Hindsight is always cheap, but it's worth noting that in drafting the disappointing Beckham with the top overall pick of the 2008 draft, the Rays passed on, among other talents, Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer, Brett Lawrie, and Pedro Alvarez.