SEATTLE -- Outfielder Eric Filia was suspended for 50 games without pay on Friday following a second positive test for a drug of abuse, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.Filia, the Mariners' No. 21-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, just led the Arizona Fall League in
SEATTLE -- Outfielder Eric Filia was suspended for 50 games without pay on Friday following a second positive test for a drug of abuse, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Filia, the Mariners' No. 21-ranked prospect per MLB Pipeline, just led the Arizona Fall League in hitting with a .408 average and had drawn high praise from general manager Jerry Dipoto after opening eyes with a strong season at Class A Advanced Modesto.
The 25-year-old was a 20th-round Draft pick out of UCLA as a fifth-year senior in 2016 after missing one college season due to injury and another due to an academic suspension. But he slashed .326/.407/.434 with five home runs and 59 RBIs in 128 games for Modesto, and .408/483/.605 with one homer and 13 RBIs in 22 games in the AFL.
Filia's suspension will be effective at the start of the upcoming season.
Dipoto raved about Filia's potential during the Winter Meetings last month, noting that he managed the strike zone as well as anybody in the Mariners' system.
"It's not your normal outfield-corner power profile, but he can really hit and he gets on base, and if you can do those two things, you're going to play in the big leagues," Dipoto said. "My suspicion is that now the rest of the world is kind of taking note that Eric Filia is probably going to play in the big leagues. And that's saying a lot for a fifth-year-senior sign who as a 25-year-old was playing in A ball. He's kind of turning himself into a pretty good story."
The Mariners issued the following statement: "The Seattle Mariners are disappointed that Eric Filia has violated the terms of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. Our organization fully supports the Program and its efforts. Per the Basic Agreement, the Mariners will have no further comment."
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.