HOUSTON -- Two players in the Astros' system -- one an up-and-coming prospect and the other a former top-ranked prospect -- were dealt suspensions by the Commissioner's Office on Tuesday for a violation of Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.First baseman Jon Singleton -- the team's former No. 1
HOUSTON -- Two players in the Astros' system -- one an up-and-coming prospect and the other a former top-ranked prospect -- were dealt suspensions by the Commissioner's Office on Tuesday for a violation of Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
First baseman Jon Singleton -- the team's former No. 1 prospect who spent all of last season at Double-A Corpus Christi -- has received a 100-game suspension without pay after a third positive test for a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Also, right-handed pitcher Dean Deetz -- the team's No. 24 prospect according to MLB Pipeline -- received an 80-game suspension without pay for testing positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone, a performance-enhancing substance.
Both suspensions will start at the beginning of the 2018 season.
"Throughout our system, our players are educated through MLB's Drug Prevention and Treatment programs," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement. "Therefore, it is disappointing when any player is in violation of the policies that are in place. We hope that these young men will learn from this experience moving forward. The Astros will continue to fully support Major League Baseball's Drug Prevention and Treatment Programs."
Singleton was suspended 50 games five years ago for testing positive for marijuana for his second violation of Minor League baseball's drug policy. Singleton, who signed a five-year, $10 million deal with the Astros midway through the 2014 season while he was still in the Minors, hit 14 homers in parts of two seasons with Houston (2014-15), but struck out at an alarming rate. He was taken off the Astros' 40-man roster following the 2016 season, which he spent at Triple-A Fresno.
Deetz, 24, was added to the Astros' 40-man roster in November after going 7-6 with a 4.25 ERA in 25 games (16 starts) combined at Corpus Christi and Fresno, striking out 97 batters in 84 2/3 innings. He was drafted in the 11th round by Houston out of Northeastern Oklahoma A&M.
In a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association, Deetz said he unknowingly took the substance and had appealed the suspension.
"Let me say first and foremost that I have never knowingly taken a performance-enhancing substance of any kind," he said in the statement. "I come from a small town and know how fortunate I am to call myself a professional baseball player. I would never jeopardize that opportunity, or betray those who have supported me along the way, by trying to cheat in order to gain an advantage.
"As I explained to the arbitrator in my appeal, I have no idea how I could possibly have tested positive, and although I am disappointed with the outcome, I will abide by his decision. I would like to apologize to my family, friends, the Houston Astros organization, coaches, teammates and fans that have been impacted by this situation. I will continue working diligently to clear my name, and in the meantime, rebuild the trust of those who have been affected by this result."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.