Detroit Tigers prospect JaCoby Jones was suspended by MLB for 50 games on Thursday for drug abuse. Jones, a shortstop, was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the third round of the 2013 MLB Draft after attending LSU. He was traded straight up for RP Joakim Soria right before the 2015 Trade Deadline and was currently playing for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League (a team that has many Tigers representitves), where he had recently won the Player of the Week Award for hitting .538 with two homers to kick off his AFL season.
The drug Jones was suspended for was a “drug of abuse,” which means it was a non-PED. This was his second positive test for the drug, resulting in the 50 game ban. The rest of the Scottsdale schedule will count towards Jones’ suspension, meaning he will only miss the first 38 games of the 2016 season, that he will now likely start in Triple A Toledo. That’ll put him back in action around the middle of May. This was a bit of a blow to the Tigers, as Jones is their tenth-ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, and had the potential to really help the Tigers in 2016. He has great power and speed, but the Tigers are still unsure which position he will play in the majors.
As long as Jones quits whatever drug he took, this should just be a bump in the road as it’ll delay his development by about a month. He had a chance to break the Opening Day roster, but most likely would’ve just started in AAA. He could still see time in the majors this year for the Tigers when the time comes.
Jones hit .280/.333/.400 in 50 at-bats for the Scorpions, and .257/.322/.415 with 16 homers and 25 steals in 2015.