A trio of Astros prospects and the reigning captain of the Ohio State baseball team were among six Minor Leaguers suspended for 50 games Thursday after violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Triple-A Round Rock's Dan Meszaros and Double-A Corpus Christi infielders Marcos Cabral and Jonathon Fixler were banned for 50 games after each tested positive for Methylhexaneamine, a performance-enhancing substance.
Major League Baseball has suspended 73 Minor Leaguers in 2010 for violating the drug program. The news comes a day after two Dominican Summer Leaguers were suspended for using Stanozolol.
Meszaros, Houston's 48th-round pick in 2008, has quickly navigated the Astros system, reaching Triple-A in less than three years. He is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in seven games with Round Rock after appearing in 26 contests with the Hooks.
Fixler was a 19th-rounder in 2007 out of Indiana who was batting .265 with five homers and 14 RBIs with Corpus Christi.
Cabral was originally drafted by the Mets out of Broward Community College in the 31st round of the 2002 Draft, but has bounced around between the Mets, Marlins, Nationals, Blue Jays and Astros in seven seasons. The shortstop was batting .265 with four homers and 20 RBIs with the Hooks after spending 18 games at Triple-A.
Mets pitcher Zachary Dotson of the organization's Gulf Coast affiliate and Oakland outfielder Zach Hurley of Class A Short-Season Vancouver were also suspended for 50 games after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.
The suspensions are effective immediately.
Hurley was Oakland's 29th-round pick in this year's Draft out of Ohio State University, where he hit .385 as a senior for the Buckeyes. The Springboro, Ohio native, initially drafted by the Marlins in the 45th round of the '09 Draft, was hitting .271 with five RBIs in 19 games.
Hurley was a respected three-time scholar athlete at Ohio State, which described him as "a leader in the way he acts and practices." He was chosen by his peers to co-captain the 2010 Buckeyes team after beginning the season as a .320 career hitter.
Dotson was the Mets' 13th-round pick last summer and had appeared in only four games this year.
Methylhexaneamine is a substance originally intended to be used as a nasal decongestant that has gained popularity as a recreational drug which reportedly gives users an adrenaline rush. Side effects include nausea and stroke. The drug was recently linked to several Jamaican track stars in 2009.
This isn't the first time the drug has found its way into the Minors -- Florida Marlins' Minor League pitcher Dan Jennings was suspended after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine on July 28.
Free agent pitcher Luis Mercedes also received a 50-game ban after testing positive for Stanozolol. His suspension is effective upon signing with a Major League organization.