Montgomery Biscuits catcher Mark Thomas was suspended for 50 games Tuesday after his second violation of the Minor League drug program.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that the Tampa Bay Rays Minor Leaguer received a 50-game ban without pay after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse. The suspension is effective immediately.
Thomas, 25, was batting .151 with four homers, 23 RBIs and a .195 on-base percentage in 53 Southern League games with the Biscuits this season. He last played July 22, when he went 0-for-3 at Mobile.
The Georgia native was drafted by the Rays out of Young Harris Junior College in the 22nd round of the 2006 Draft and debuted with Rookie-level Princeton in 2007. He was a New York-Penn League All-Star with Hudson Valley in 2009 and made his Double-A debut in 2012 with Montgomery. He enjoyed his best season in 2011 with Class A Advanced Charlotte, when he hit .237 with a career-high 13 homers and 64 RBIs.
Thomas is the 29th player -- and the second Montgomery catcher -- to be suspended this year for violations of the Minor League drug program. Fellow Biscuits backstop David Wendt received a 50-game suspension on Jan. 14 when he tested positive for Methylhexaneamine.
Players are typically issued a warning following a first positive test for a drug of abuse, followed by a suspension for a second offense. Substances considered "drugs of abuse" by Major League Baseball include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD, ecstasy and other opiates. Minor Leaguers who test positive for a performance-enhancing substance are subjected to an immediate 50-game suspension..