Raul A. Mondesi, son of the former major leaguer Raul Mondesi and the Royals’ top prospect, has been suspended 50 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Mondesi—who made his major league debut in the World Series last year against the Mets—was supposed to have been suspended for 80 games, but MLB and the MLB Players Association reached an agreement to reduce the suspension to 50 games after Mondesi showed the substance (Clenbuterol) was inadvertently ingested in cold medicine.
In a statement, Mondesi, 20, took “full responsibility.”
“Today, I agreed to accept a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball. It is by far one of the hardest moments I have had to face in my life, but it is a decision that I accept and one that I take full responsibility for as a professional.
“I took an over-the-counter medication (Subrox-C), which I bought in the Dominican Republic to treat cold and flu symptoms. I failed to read the labeling on the medication or consult with my trainer or team about taking it and did not know it contained a banned substance. I tested positive for that banned substance, with a minuscule amount of Clenbuterol in my system, which could not have possibly enhanced my performance on the field, and now must face the consequences of that mistake.
“I apologize to my organization, my teammates, the fans and everyone who has supported me in my career. Never did I intend to take a substance that would give me an unfair advantage on the field. It is solely my mistake and there are no excuses for my carelessness in not being fully informed of what I put in my body. My goal is to work through this setback and make it back in time to help my organization compete for another World Series title.”
Mondesi, the No. 29 overall prospect in the game, is known for his plus-plus defense and plus throwing arm. He is one of the toolsiest shortstops in the game, with plus-plus speed and surprising power for his size. The offense has lagged behind the glove a bit, but he is showing more power this season with five homers already for Double-A Northwest Arkansas—his career high is eight—while he’s stolen 11 bases in 12 attempts. At the time of his suspension, Mondesi was hitting .250/.304/.462. He will be eligible to return from his suspension in the first week of July.
Mondesi became the first player to ever make his big league debut in the World Series when he made a pinch-hitting appearance for the Royals in last year’s World Series. Players who suspended during the regular season—regardless of the length of that suspension—are not eligible for the postseason. But a source told BA’s Ben Badler that Mondesi would be eligible.
In a statement, Royals general manager Dayton Moore said, “This is an unfortunate incident that we believe to be an innocent mistake, but these are the consequences that players face when they do not adhere to the policies that have been collectively bargained. We have a protocol in place with our medical team should a player ever have questions about what they may be taking, even if an over-the-counter medication. In this particular case the protocol was not followed and the consequences are such. We remain supportive of Raul Mondesi Jr.”