Former top Houston Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton has been suspended 100 games after a third positive drug test. Astros right-hander Dean Deetz was also suspended 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
Singleton, 26, is currently with Double-A Corpus Christi. Singleton tested positive for a drug of abuse, the eighth player to be penalized under the minor league program.
Drafted in the eighth round by the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009 and acquired by the Astros in the Hunter Pence trade in July 2011, Singleton hasn’t played in the majors since 2015, when he went 9-for-47 in 19 games. He played 95 games for the Astros in 2014, going 52-for-310 (.168). Baseball America regarded him as the Astros’ best prospect by the end of the 2011 season.
Singleton’s first positive test came in June 2012, his first month in Double-A, and he said he quit using marijuana for the rest of that season. After the season, during which he hit .284 with 21 homers and 79 RBIs, he went to the Arizona Fall League. He failed a second test in December 2012, with a 50-game suspension coming a month later. He was then admitted to an inpatient rehabilitation center for a month.
“I knew I had a problem,” Singleton said in a 2014 interview with The Associated Press. “Even after I failed the second drug test, I couldn’t stop smoking weed. It was really bad. Me going [to the rehab center] was definitely the best move.”
He has also admitted to abusing alcohol as a substitute for marijuana after the stint in rehab.
Singleton spent last year at Double-A, batting .205 with 18 homers.
Deetz, 24, was added to the Astros’ 40-man roster this offseason but has never played in the majors. He tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, and became the first player penalized this year under the major league drug program.
In a players’ union statement, Deetz said, “I have no idea how I could possibly have tested positive,” but would abide by the decision.
Deetz was 7-6 with a 4.25 ERA last year as a starter and reliever at Triple-A Fresno and Double-A Corpus Christi.
Both suspensions start at the beginning of the 2018 MLB and Texas League regular seasons.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.