Marlins' Kolby Copeland suspended

Updated: March 5, 2013, 4:48 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

NEW YORK -- Miami Marlins outfielder Kolby Copeland has been suspended for 50 games for refusing to take an offseason test under baseball's minor league drug program.

The 19-year-old was drafted with the 127th overall pick last year out of Parkway High School in Elm Grove, La. He hit .286 with 14 doubles, no homers and 34 RBIs last year for the Gulf Coast League Marlins and .227 in six games with Jamestown of the Class A New York-Penn League.

His suspension, announced Tuesday, will start at the beginning of this season. He is on the roster of Batavia of the New York-Penn League.

Copeland had received a reported $367,200 signing bonus. Baseball America recently ranked him as the No. 18 prospect in the Marlins' farm system.

There are precedents for Copeland's situation. According to a Major League Baseball spokesman, six of the 105 minor league drug suspensions in 2012 were incurred by players who refused to take a test. It also happened once in 2007, once in 2008 and once in 2011.

Under baseball's major and minor league drug programs, refusal to submit to or comply with testing is considered a positive test as it relates to discipline.

There have been eight suspensions this year under the minor league program.

Information from ESPN.com senior writer Jerry Crasnick and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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