SF Giants top draft pick tested positive for marijuana
By Oscar Pascual |
Tim Lincecum’s days of Cy Young dominance seem to be over, so the San Francisco Giants just drafted another pot-smoking flamethrower in Phil Bickford.
The Giants used their 18th pick of the 2015 MLB draft on Monday to draft Bickford, a right-handed pitcher from the University of Southern Nevada known for his towering 6-foot-4, 205 lb. frame and sizzling 97-mph fastball, McCovey Chronicles reported.
However, Bickford was drafted with the knowledge that he tested positive for marijuana coming into this year’s draft, reports Baseball America.
The MLB currently subjects the top 200 draft prospects to a pre-draft medical program that includes a random drug test 30 days before the actual draft occurs. Prospects aren’t punished for testing positive, but are considered ineligible for selection if they don’t take the test.
Despite testing positive for pot, Bickford is coming off an awfully dominant collegiate season, going 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and 166 strikeouts in 86 2/3 innings. It’s likely the reason why Giants management are satisfied with their choice despite his cannabis use.
“To be able to get a power arm… we’re pretty excited about that,” said John Barr, assistant general manager for scouting and international operations, in an interview with SF Gate.
If Bickford’s stats aren’t enough to shake off his pot stigma, Bickford’s coach at Southern Nevada, Nick Garritano, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Bickford’s “command of the fastball for a 19-year-old is unbelievable.”
It’s unsure yet as to whether or not Bickford will actually pan out, but he can smoke in peace if he ever earns a spot on the Giants roster, as the MLB doesn’t test major leaguers for marijuana.
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