Major League Baseball announced four drug-related suspensions Saturday, with one former Midwest League player among the punished.
Tampa Bay Rays catching prospect Nick Ciuffo, who played for the Bowling Green Hot Rods in 2015, was banned 50 games for a second positive test of a drug of abuse. He batted .258 with 1 HR and 32 RBI in 94 games with the Hot Rods. He spent last season in Double-A, batting .245 with 7 HR and 42 RBI in 102 games with the Montgomery Biscuits.
Ciuffo was named the Rays farm system’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2016 and 2017. Last season he had a .990 fielding percentage in 619.1 innings behind the plate, and threw out 23 of 60 (38.3 percent) potential base stealers.
The other three minor-leaguers suspended on Saturday were Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Mitchell Tolman (50 games for a second positive test of a drug of abuse), Philadelphia Phillies RHP Steve Geltz (100 games for a third positive test of a drug of abuse), and San Diego Padres RHP Alex Cunningham (50 games for testing positive for Amphetamine, a stimulant).