Blue Jays' Garcia suspended 50 games

Teenage outfielder becomes fifth player disciplined this week

By Danny Wild / | September 9, 2011 3:02 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Blue Jays outfield prospect Melvin Garcia on Friday became the fifth Minor Leaguer to be suspended this week after testing positive for a banned substance.

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Garcia received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for an amphetamine, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Garcia, 19, was selected by Toronto in the 33rd round of the 2010 Draft out of James Monroe High School in the Bronx, N.Y. and had spent the last two seasons with the organization's two Rookie-level affiliates. He played in 28 games with Bluefield of the Appalachian League this season but finished up again in the Gulf Coast League.

Overall, he batted .192 with two homers, 12 RBIs and two steals in 37 games. His suspension is effective at the start of next season.

Garcia was a star outfielder at the New York City high school and was set to attend Wharton Community College in Texas before the Blue Jays offered him a signing bonus that, according to the New York Post, "was well above slot" last June.

"The amount of money was just right," he told the newspaper last June. "I feel fantastic. It's a huge step, one of the first steps of many."

Garcia batted .456 with three homers and 13 RBIs for the Bronx A East-champion Eagles in 2010, good enough to warrant a lot of attention from the Jays.

"Toronto told me they see a lot of potential in me, and if I have so much potential, why use it in college?" he told the newspaper. "I feel like I'm part of something big, getting paid to play baseball. I'm gonna go there hungry and humble."

"We're glad to have him signed and get him out there and play," Toronto scout Michael Pesce told the newspaper last summer. "We think he's gonna do well."

Garcia's is the latest in a string of suspensions handed down this week. Angels outfielder Ercilio De La Cruz tested positive for an elevated ratio of testosterone/epitestosterone on Tuesday before three more players were disciplined Thursday, including Zach Collier, the Phillies' 2008 first-round pick.

Garcia is the 56th Minor Leaguer suspended in 2011 and the third Blue Jays prospect, joining Aderly De La Cruz and Luillyn Guillen, who were banned 50 games apiece on July 14.

Danny Wild is an editor for This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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