NEW YORK -- Phillies first-round pick Zach Collier got some sobering news for his 21st birthday on Thursday: he's been suspended.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced that Collier and two free agent Minor League players have been suspended following their violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. All were suspended for 50 games.
Collier received a 50-game ban after testing positive for an amphetamine. The Phillies' 2008 first-round pick hit .255 with a homer, 36 RBIs and 35 steals for Class A Lakewood this season after missing all of 2010 following right wrist surgery.
The Chino Hills, Calif., native was the 34th overall pick in '08 and had appeared with the GCL Phillies and short-season Williamsport prior to 2011. His suspension is effective at the start of next season.
Free agent right-handed pitcher Alejandro Montas and free agent catcher Gustavo Parra also received 50-game suspensions after testing positive for Stanozolol. The suspensions of Montas and Parra will be effective immediately upon their signing with another Major League organization.
Parra was signed by the Baltimore Orioles as a non-drafted free agent on May 27, 2009, and hit .186 in 24 games this season with the organization's Dominican Summer League affiliate. He last played on Aug. 13.
Montas was also signed by the O's in 2009 and appeared in 12 games out of the bullpen for the DSL Orioles this year. He had no record and walked 16 batters with a 12.00 ERA in nine innings.
Stanozolol is a synthetic anabolic steroid derived from testosterone that is sometimes prescribed by veterinarians to encourage muscle growth, red blood cell production, bone density and to stimulate the appetite of weakened animals. It's also been linked to body builders and several former baseball players -- Rafael Palmeiro reportedly tested positive for the substance in 2005 and was suspended 10 games by Major League Baseball. All-time home run king Barry Bonds reportedly used the drug, according to the book Game of Shadows, and Roger Clemens was allegedly given the drug, according to his former trainer, Brian McNamee. Olympic gold medalist Ben Johnson was stripped of his medal after testing positive for Stanozolol during the 1988 Summer Olympics.
Collier is the seventh Phillies Minor Leaguer to be suspended in 2011 and the third former first-round pick, joining Mark Rogers and Donovan Tate. A total of 55 players have received suspensions under the Minor League drug program this year.