Brewers News

Prospect Bickford Fails Drug Test, Suspended 50 Games

bgetka
Jun 28, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants 2015 number one draft pick pitcher Phil Bickford sits in the Giants dugout before the game against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 28, 2015; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants 2015 number one draft pick pitcher Phil Bickford sits in the Giants dugout before the game against the Colorado Rockies at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

Brewers’ RHP prospect Phil Bickford has just been suspended 50 games after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.

Milwaukee acquired Bickford from the Giants at the deadline in exchange for RP Will Smith.

Bickford is currently ranked as the 12th best right-handed pitching prospect in all of baseball, according to MLBPipeline.com. He finished 2016 with the Brewers’ Class A Advanced Brevard County Club.

Bickford’s first failed drug test came just before the 2015 draft when he tested positive for marijuana.

The consequences for failed drug tests in Major League Baseball are severe. If Bickford fails another one he will be suspended for a full season. After that, if he fails a fourth he could receive up to a lifetime ban at the discretion of the Commissioner.

The future is bright for Phil Bickford as long as he can stay out of trouble.

Milwaukee Brewers’ GM David Stearns didn’t have much to say after learning his 5th best prospect would be suspended for a good chunk of 2017. “We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office.” Stearns later added, “Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.”

The future is bright for Phil Bickford as long as he can stay out of trouble.

The Giants selected him 18th overall in 2015 out of the College of Southern Nevada. The 21-year-old has a 2.78 ERA in his two years in the Minors. A very hard thrower, Bickford’s fastball consistently hits 98 mph. The 6’4″ Bickford has the look of a future MLB ace should his development continue as it has been.

Bickford has made strides with his changeup as of late and has also developed a strong slider. His stuff is truly electric and should he not succeed as a frontline starter, he should make an excellent closer at the very least.

Next: Brewers' Bullpen Options in Free Agency

facebooktwitterreddit