Phil Bickford Tests Positive For Marijuana
JC of Southern Nevada righthander Phil Bickford tested positive for marijuana in a predraft drug test, multiple industry sources have confirmed to Baseball America.
Bickford, ranked No. 27 on the BA 500, was the 10th overall pick of the 2013 draft, but didn't come to an agreement with the Blue Jays and went on to attend Cal State Fullerton. After one year with the Titans and a strong performance in the Cape Cod League, he transferred to JC of Southern Nevada, making him eligible for this year's draft.
Bickford dominated hitters this spring for the Coyotes and was named Scenic West Athletic Conference pitcher of the year after he went 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and struck out 166 batters in 86 2/3 innings.
Bickford’s representatives and CSN coach Nick Garritano were not available for comment.
MLB conducts a predraft medical program for the top 200 prospects in the draft, as identified by the Major League Scouting Bureau. The program includes a random, unannounced drug test in the 30 days prior to the draft. Players who do not participate are ineligible for selection.
MLB does not test major leaguers for marijuana but does test players not on 40-man rosters. Under those guidelines, a player is placed in a treatment program after his first positive test, and any subsequent positive tests trigger a suspension.
Bickford has been projected to be a first round pick throughout the spring, but he has remained enigmatic as scouts have tried to get a feel for the power pitcher. The positive test likely won't change his first-round projection, nor will it make the puzzle he presents teams any easier to solve.
The draft begins Monday at 7 p.m. ET.