Infielder Steve Wilkerson suspended for 50 games for positive amphetamines test - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

Infielder Steve Wilkerson suspended for 50 games for positive amphetamines test

Photo credit: Terrance Williams/Bowie Baysox

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — While the focus on the Orioles on Tuesday centered around trade rumors and third baseman Manny Machado, another young infielder in the organization has made more definitive news.

Steve Wilkerson, who thrust himself onto the club’s radar in 2017 by hitting .305 between High-A Frederick and Double-A Bowie, has been suspended for 50 games without pay for testing positive for an amphetamine, a violation of the minor league drug prevention and treatment program.

The announcement was made by Major League Baseball on Tuesday evening.

The suspension for Wilkerson, who is a member of Triple-A Norfolk’s roster, is effective at the start of the International League’s season.

Wilkerson, who turns 26 in January, was considered a possibility – albeit a longshot – for the Orioles’ open utility infielder job in 2018. His lack of range hampered his ability to play shortstop, however, which hurt his chances of making the Opening Day roster. But the organization liked Wilkerson’s switch-hitting bat, energy and hustling style of play.

He was part of the group the Orioles sent to the prestigious Arizona Fall League this year, and he acquitted himself well by slashing .317/.396/.512 in 97 plate appearances for Salt River.

An Orioles’ eighth-rounder in 2014 out of Clemson University, Wilkerson was not added to the Orioles’ 40-man roster this winter, which left him available to be selected by another team in Thursday’s Rule 5 draft.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Osfan73

    December 12, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Well now we know how he thrust himself onto the team’s radar and hit .305. No seriously whether it’s with the Os or not he should learn from this and come out after more motivated than ever to show he can succeed without the help. Even Josh Gordon is back from a loooong suspension and catching footballs in Cleveland now. Surely if he can do it then it can be done.

    • Dan Connolly

      December 13, 2017 at 12:20 am

      Wilkerson can catch footballs? He did go to Clemson. Just kidding. I get your point.

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