Twins second baseman Eddie Rosario, the No. 6 prospect in the system, has been suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball after a second positive test for a drug of abuse, the commissioner’s office was announced Saturday.
Rosario, 22, hit .302/.350/.460 in high Class A Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain in 2013. His suspension will take effect at the beginning of the 2014 season.
The Twins selected Rosario in the fourth round of the 2010 draft from Guayama High in Puerto Rico.
Considered the best hitter in Twins system aside from Byron Buxton, Rosario generates excellent bat speed and plate coverage. He moved to second base in 2012, playing there full time in 2013 after starting his pro career in center field.
The Twins were, not surprisingly, disappointed about the development.
“Losing 50 games, that’s a huge setback,” general manager Terry Ryan told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “That’s a lot of development time, a lot of learning that he’ll miss. It sets back his progression going up to the big leagues.”
Rosario, who played in both the Arizona Fall and Puerto Rican leagues this offseason, was expected to begin the season at Double-A in 2014. He issued a statement Saturday that read:
“I want to apologize to Terry Ryan and the entire Twins organization, my fans, teammates and family. I made a mistake and I have no one but myself to blame. I must accept responsibility for my actions and serve my suspension . . . I look forward to returning to the field in May and will do my best to put this unfortunate incident behind me.”