New York Mets minor leaguer Brandon Welch suspended for drug violation

Saturday January 17th, 2015

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball has suspended New York Mets minor league pitcher Brandon Welch for 50 games for testing positive for a drug of abuse for the second time, according to Danny Wild of MiLB.com.

The 23-year-old's suspension will go into effect at the start of the 2015 season. Welch was picked in the fifth round of the 2012 draft by the Mets. In 2014, he went 2-2 for the Brooklyn Cyclones, earning a 5.18 ERA through 33 innings in 14 appearances, including three starts. The right-hander struck out 21 batters and walked 12.

CORCORAN: Does No. 1 farm system ranking spell success for MLB teams?

Major League Baseball's "drugs of abuse" include cocaine, marijuana, heroin, LSD and ecstasy. Players receive a warning after a first offense and a 50-game suspension after a second.

Minor leaguers who test positive for a performance-enhancing substance receive a 50-game suspension automatically.

The league has already suspended four players for violations of the minor league drug program this year, including Mets minor league infielder L.J. Mazzilli.

- Christopher Woody

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.