Jonathan Singleton: Astros Prospect Banned 50 Games for Positive Marijuana Test

Joseph ZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 9, 2013

KANSAS CITY, MO - JULY 08:  Jean Segura #8 of the World Team tags out Jonathan Singleton #24 of Team USA at second base during the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium on July 8, 2012 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Houston Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 50 games for violating minor league baseball's drug policy.

Jerry Crasnick of ESPN broke the news early Wednesday evening.

Marijuana was the drug for which Singleton tested positive. As a result, he will miss the first 50 games of the 2013 season.

Singleton released a statement through his agents:

"I was informed today that I have tested positive for marijuana,'' Singleton said in the statement. "As a result, I am being suspended for the first 50 games of the 2013 season. I accept the penalty and take full responsibility for my actions. I apologize to my parents, the Houston Astros and (general manager) Jeff Luhnow.

"The Astros have been nothing but supportive of me and good to me in my short time with the organization. My hope is to use this as a learning experience and spend the rest of my career proving to myself and the baseball community that this was a lapse in judgment, and is not in any way indicative of my character or my dedication to baseball or to my team.''

The 21-year-old was a hot prospect in the Astros organization. Baseball America ranked him the 39th-best prospect in baseball in 2011 and 34th-best in 2012.

The publication ranked him second to shortstop Carlos Correa in the Astros organization.

Singleton originally started in the Philadelphia Phillies' organization but moved to Houston in the trade involving Hunter Pence, according to Crasnick's report.

For Astros fans, this is just insult to injury. Houston finished 55-107 in 2012, which was the worst record in baseball. The team will have the first overall pick in the 2013 draft and will attempt to get the organization contending again.

Singleton's suspension will likely stay with him for a while, but it won't carry the stigma that would have come with testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.

Houston is a team in complete rebuild, and Singleton hopes to play a part in turning things around. Unfortunately, he'll have to wait to do so.

He spent 2012 in Double-A with the Corpus Christi Hooks, hitting .284 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI. More than likely, Singleton would have been called up to the majors at some point in 2013. 

At his young age, though, 2014 is likely when the first baseman will significantly start to impact the Houston lineup.