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Giants’ 2015 first-round draft pick suspended 50 games for drug abuse


The Giants traded pitching prospect Phil Bickford to the Milwaukee Brewers at the deadline last season. So far, that’s looking like a smart move.

Bickford, 21, was suspended for the first 50 games of the 2017 Carolina League season for his second positive drug test, MLB announced Friday. San Francisco selected Bickford, 21, with the 18th overall pick in the 2015 draft. Bickford also tested positive for marijuana before the draft.

Bickford is considered a high quality pitching prospect, notching double-digit strikeout per-nine-inning tallies throughout his minor league career. Last year, Bickford threw 120 innings of 2.92 ERA ball with 10.1 K/9 at the Class A and High-A level.

Players on MLB rosters are not subject to suspension for marijuana use, but Bickford is not on Milwaukee’s 40-man roster. He is currently ranked as the fifth-best prospect in the Brewers’ farm system.

The hiccup could have an impact on his developmental timeline.


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