Brewers lefty Tyler Alexander, Giants right-hander Dylan Brooks, Orioles third baseman Austin Anderson and former Blue Jays first-round pick Tyler Gonzales were suspended on Friday for violating the Minor League drug program.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said Alexander and Brooks received 50-game suspensions without pay following their second positive tests for a drug of abuse, while Anderson was banned 50 games without pay after testing positive for an amphetamine, a stimulant.
Gonzales, a free agent who was released by Philadelphia on Wednesday, was handed a 100-game suspension for refusing to take a drug test.
Anderson and Brooks will begin serving their suspensions on Opening Day, Alexander's ban begins in June at the start of short-season, and Gonzales will need to sit once he signs with another Major League club.
Alexander, 23, was the Brewers' 23rd-round pick in 2013 out of Florida International and is 7-6 with a 4.28 ERA in 96 2/3 innings over 39 games, including 11 starts, since he debuted in 2013. He spent last season with Class A Wisconsin and the Brewers' Rookie-level Arizona League affiliate, finishing 5-6 with a 4.78 ERA in 26 outings.
Anderson, a 22-year-old infielder, was selected by Baltimore in the ninth-round of the 2014 Draft out of Mississippi and saw action in 49 games last summer with Class A Short Season Aberdeen. The New York-Penn League All-Star hit .307 with a homer, 19 RBIs, a pair of stolen bases and a .354 on-base percentage for the IronBirds.
Brooks, 19, was the Giants' 30th-round pick in 2013 out of Lord Dorchester High School in Canada. He's 2-1 with a 3.70 ERA in 41 1/3 career innings since debuting with the Arizona League Giants two years ago. The 6-foot-7 reliever appeared in 18 games last summer in the AZL, going 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA in 34 frames.
Gonzales, 22, was Toronto's Compensation A-round selection in the 2012 Draft out of James Madison High School in Texas. He appeared in 18 games with Rookie-level Bluefield from 2012-13, going 2-2 with a 9.24 ERA in 25 1/3 innings, before missing the entire 2014 season. The 6-foot-2 righty was released by the Blue Jays last July before the Commissioner's Office suspended him for 50 games on Sept. 11, 2014 for his second positive test for a drug of abuse. The Phillies signed him on Nov. 26, 2014 and assigned him to Class A Lakewood, but he was released by Philadelphia on Jan. 28 and now faces a combined 150-game penalty.
Players are typically issued a warning following a first positive test for a drug of abuse and 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. Amphetamines are considered performance-enhancing, and players can also be penalized for refusing to take a test.
The Commissioner's Office has suspended 26 players in 2015 for violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, including 13 in the past week.