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Minor Leaguer Wilkerson suspended 50 games

MLB.com @Britt_Ghiroli

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Orioles Minor Leaguer Steve Wilkerson has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a positive test for amphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, MLB announced on Tuesday evening.

The suspension will start at the beginning of Triple-A Norfolk's season and comes following a breakout year for Wilkerson, who was selected for the Arizona Fall League's Top Prospects Team.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Orioles Minor Leaguer Steve Wilkerson has received a 50-game suspension without pay following a positive test for amphetamine, a stimulant in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, MLB announced on Tuesday evening.

The suspension will start at the beginning of Triple-A Norfolk's season and comes following a breakout year for Wilkerson, who was selected for the Arizona Fall League's Top Prospects Team.

Wilkerson hit .317 with three doubles, one homer, 10 RBIs and two stolen bases in the AFL, and the O's decision to not protect him in advance of Thursday's Rule 5 Draft seemed puzzling. Currently on Norfolk's roster, Wilkerson hit a combined .305/.375/.423 with Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie.

The suspension should deter interest in the infielder and also eliminates Wilkerson as a potential utility candidate for the Orioles this season. Executive vice president of baseball operations Dan Duquette said Tuesday that the team is still looking for a versatile utility guy for the bench.

Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.

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