Red Sox minor leaguer Mathew Price was suspended for 50 games due to a violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program by twice testing positive for a drug of abuse. Major League Baseball announced the suspension today.
Price was drafted out of Virginia Tech in the eighth round of the 2010 draft and signed for a $415,000 bonus. However, after he signed, a known pre-existing elbow issue ended up requiring Tommy John surgery in the fall of 2010. Price completed his rehab and made three appearances last year (two in the Rookie Level Gulf Coast League and one in Single-A Greenville), striking out four in 3 1/3 innings while allowing five hits and walking two.
The Sox felt that Price’s stuff was among the best of any of the pitchers whom they signed in the 2010 draft. He was scouted with a sinking 93-94 mph fastball, with a boost to 94-95 mph towards the end of the year. He also showed an above-average changeup and a curve that graded as below average.
Price proved inconsistent at Virginia Tech while going 7-4 with a 4.95 ERA, 85 strikeouts and 26 walks in 91 innings, but the Sox liked the upside of his stuff and athleticism. Given the relatively modest cost, position of the draft and potential upside of the pitcher, the Sox were willing to sign him despite the questions about his elbow.
However, while he made it back from Tommy John and was assigned to Greenville to start this year before landing on the disabled list, it now appears that his career will remain on hold.
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