Tampa Bay Rays shortstop prospect Tim Beckham, the #1 overall pick in the 2008 draft, was suspended for 50 games today for violating the minor league substance abuse policy, as tweeted by the official MiLB account.
Former No. 1 overall pick Tim Beckham of Tampa suspended 50 games for drug of abuse — second violation. More to come.
— MiLB.com (@MinorLeagues) May 1, 2012
Beckham was struggling this season for AAA Durham, with just a .568 OPS in 13 games. Beckham was placed on the DL last week while dealing with a wrist injury.
When I hear "drug of abuse", the immediate reaction isn't steroids or HGH, but a drug more along the lines of marijuana or cocaine. If Beckham tested positive for weed, this suspension is pretty pathetic…really, 50 games for a joint? That's just sad. On the other hand, if the drug is more severe…yeah, I can see the suspension being more justified; and in that case he should probably go to a rehab center as well. Or, as more and more players are doing these days, he could probably get himself into resort style rehab centers instead, if that will better help him out during this healing process.
In any case, Beckham's suspension doesn't necessarily cripple the Rays, due to his offensive struggles and injury problems this season. Sean Rodriguez isn't exactly holding his own in the majors, but Beckham wouldn't be helping in the next 50 games anyway. Beckham's career really hasn't lived up to his promise as the first overall pick in a draft that included current major leaguers Pedro Alvarez, Eric Hosmer, Brian Matusz, and Buster Posey in the top five, and Yonder Alonso, Gordon Beckham, Aaron Crow, Justin Smoak, Jemile Weeks, Brett Lawrie, Ike Davis, Andrew Cashner, Wade Miley, and Lance Lynn in the rest of the first round and the supplemental round as well.
At any rate, it's just another disappointing step in his career. Whether or not the suspension is justified is something that we'll find out a little later down the road.