Padres outfielder Donavan Tate, the No. 3 overall pick of the 2009 draft, was suspended for 50 games Tuesday for violating Major League Baseball's drug prevention and treatment program. Tate tested positive a second time for a drug of abuse, though the MLB press release did not divulge the drug.
Tate, playing at short-season Eugene, will serve 25 of the 50-game suspension, being given credit for 25 games already served while undergoing substance abuse counseling. He must begin serving the other 25 games of the suspension immediately.
It's another blow in the short career of Tate, who was coming off what was likely the best game of his career this weekend. Tate had opened the year in full-season ball for the first time at low Class A Fort Wayne before a collision with Everett Williams left him with a hyperextended knee. (Williams wound up with a torn ACL).
Tate, who signed for a two-sport, $6.25 million bonus after being drafted behind Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley in 2009, already has missed time as a pro with several other injuries, starting after signing in 2009 with a broken jaw incurred in an all-terrain vehicle crash. He also missed time in 2010 with a concussion, a shoulder injury and a viral illness.
He was 20-for-68 overall this season between Fort Wayne and Eugene, hitting .294/.368/.471 overall with eight walks and 18 strikeouts, as well as seven stolen bases in 10 tries. He had yet to homer.
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