Washington catcher Adrian Nieto will miss the first 50 games of the 2011 campaign for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
The 21-year-old, selected by the Nationals in the fifth round of the 2008 Draft, tested positive for the anabolic steroid Oxandrolone and performance-enhancing Metabolite, the Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced Thursday.
The switch-hitting Cuban hit .195 with two homers and 14 RBIs in 60 games with Class A Hagerstown in the South Atlantic League in 2010. Nieto made 49 starts behind the plate for the Suns, after spending his first two professional seasons in the Gulf Coast League.
Nieto is the fourth Minor Leaguer to test positive for a banned substance in 2011. Oakland farmhand Joselito Adames tested positive for the anabolic steroid Stanozolol and Phillies pitcher San Lazaro Solano was disciplined for using the anabolic steroid Boldenone on Jan. 20.
Arizona outfielder Alfredo Marte received the first 50-game suspension of the new year on Jan. 13 after testing positive for Stanozolol.
More than 80 Minor Leaguers were suspended for violating the MiLB program in 2010.