Atlanta Braves minor leaguer Jordan Schafer was suspended for 50 games yesterday by the baseball commissioner's office, which said he used human growth hormone in violation of the sport's minor league drug program.
The 21-year-old outfielder was batting .091 (1-for-11) for the Double-A Mississippi Braves of the Southern League. He batted .312 at Class A last year with 15 homers and 63 RBIs for Rome of the South Atlantic League and Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League.
Schafer is one of the Braves' top prospects and is viewed as the team's possible future starting center fielder. General manager Frank Wren said the team was "extremely disappointed that Jordan has violated the commissioner's Performance Enhancing Drug Policy."
Wren said that during the suspension, the Braves will continue to support and counsel Schafer.
Schafer became the fourth player suspended this year under the minor league program, following St. Louis pitcher Scott Vander Weg (positive test), Kansas City Royals pitcher Jacob Rodriguez (failure to test) and Chicago Cubs pitcher Robert Hernandez (positive test).
There were 30 suspensions last year under the minor league program and eight under the major league plan.