Rays 2010 First-Rounder Sale Suspended Again

See also: 2014 Drug Suspensions

Josh Sale, the Rays’ first-round pick in 2010 who was suspended at the end of 2012 for drug use and suspended all of last season by the team for an incident at a strip club, has again been suspended for drug use.

Major League Baseball on Tuesday announced Sale, the 17th overall pick in 2010, had been suspended 50 games for using a drug of abuse.

Josh Sale

Josh Sale (Photo by Mike Janes)

After missing all of 2013, Sale was playing at high Class A Charlotte and hitting just .238/.313/.344. This third suspension would appear to put his Rays future in jeopardy.

Sale made national headlines in 2013 for an ill-advised and ill-received comment posted to his Facebook page. The post read (with typos intact): "Threw 50 cents at a stripper tonight. First time. Got kicked out and she got so pissed thought she was gonna cry. Your a stripper. Be thankful. Hoe."

The 17th pick in the 2010 draft, Sale hit .264/.391/.464 with 10 homers in 239 at-bats for low Class A Bowling Green in 2012 prior to his suspension—he tested positive for an amphetamine—in the season's closing days.

Sale was drafted in 2010 and earned an above-slot $1.62 million bonus based on his bat, but he struggled during his 2011 pro debut. He rebounded in 2012 and started the season strong, hitting .370 with seven homers in his first 19 games. Although he regressed during the season, he still ended up with an .855 OPS but was suspended toward the end of the season after testing positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine.

At his best, Sale has a good feel for the strike zone, drawing more than his share of walks, though he also strikes out a lot because he works deep counts. His bat would be his carrying tool, but at this point, he’s lost a lot of development time because of his suspensions. In four pro seasons, Sale has only 776 pro at-bats. With only 19 games left in Charlotte’s season, Sale will miss more than a month of next season as well.