Prospect Welker suspended after PED test

May 7th, 2021

Infielder , the Rockies' No. 11 prospect per MLB Pipeline, has been suspended for 80 games without pay for violating MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. He tested positive for Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone (DHCMT), a performance-enhancing substance.

The Rockies drafted Welker, 23, out of Stoneman-Douglas High School (Fla.) in the fourth round of the 2016 Draft. Colorado added him to its 40-man roster following the 2020 season, and he is currently with Triple-A Albuquerque.

Welker issued a statement Thursday, saying that he did not knowingly ingest DHCMT and referred to other players who have also been perplexed as to how very small amounts of the drug showed up in testing.

"I want to make it very clear that I have never willingly nor intentionally ingested any substance to enhance my athletic performance," Welker said in the statement. "Given the information provided to me by the Players Association and laboratory, the amount detected was so minimal that it would have no effect on enhancing my performance. I understand that a number of other players, like me, have tested positive for this metabolite at microscopic levels, and I intend to join them in seeking answers as to how this is happening in order to clear my name."

Welker hit well over his first three Minor League seasons, with his best performance coming in 2018, when he hit .333/.383/.489 in 114 games for Class A Advanced Lancaster. He suffered a shoulder injury and struggled at the plate in '19, slashing .252/.313/.408 in 98 games with Double-A Hartford.

The Rockies also issued a statement Thursday, expressing that the organization is "disappointed" and "fully supports MLB’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Program and [believes] that Colton will learn from this experience."