By Jay Blue
Blue Jays from Away
On Friday, Major League Baseball announced that five minor leaguers had been suspended for violating drug rules and three of them were members of the Toronto Blue Jays' organization. All three Blue Jays, Hugo Cardona, Yhon Perez and Leonicio Ventura, were members of the Dominican Summer League Blue Jays in 2017.
The trio of players were all suspended for 72 games for 2018 and were all suspended for the use of Boldenone, an anabolic-androgenic steroid.
Cardona, 18, made his professional debut this year after signing a deal with the Blue Jays on July 2, 2016, getting a $300,000 bonus, which was the maximum bonus the Blue Jays were permitted to offer in the season following the year they broke the bank to sign Vladimir Guerrero Jr. A shortstop from Venezuela, Cardona made 21 errors in 56 games while hitting .249/.342/.285 with five doubles and a triple.
Yhon Perez, a 17-year-old Venezuelan, also signed on July 2, 2016 to an unspecified bonus and made his debut this season in the DSL. Perez played 18 games at second base with 29 games in the outfield. He hit .249/.335/.332 over 225 plate appearances, hitting eight doubles, four triples and stealing eight bases in 12 attempts.
Leonicio Ventura, 20, is a smaller (5-foot-10) catcher who hit quite well for the Blue Jays, earning himself an honourable mention for Player of the Year in the DSL in 2017. Ventura got his professional career off to an excellent start, hitting .290/.370/.419 with six doubles and three triples in just 93 at bats. From behind the plate, Ventura threw out 27% of potential base stealers while allowing five passed balls in 28 games.
All three players will miss the entire 2018 season.
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The 2017 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook is now available! Check out the Handbook page for more information!