Tampa Bay Rays: Former No. 1 Pick Tim Beckham Suspended 50 Games

Kenny DeJohn@@kennydejohnAnalyst IIIMay 1, 2012

Tim Beckham of the Tampa Bay Rays has been suspended 50 games for his second violation for a drug of abuse under the Minor League drug program (via MLB.com).

The former No. 1 pick in the 2008 draft, Beckham was hitting just .204 in 13 games for Durham, the Rays' Triple-A affiliate.

After being drafted out of his high school in Georgia, he was largely considered the top talent available in 2008.

That has since changed, seeing as Pedro Alvarez, Eric Hosmer, Buster Posey and Brett Lawrie were all drafted after him.

He has not performed nearly as well as the team expected, putting together a line of .263/.330/.379 over five seasons in various different levels of the Rays' system.

Rays' executive vice president of operations, Andrew Friedman, had this to say about the suspension via MLB.com: "We are very disappointed by Tim's actions. Tim possesses great potential, and he must rededicate himself in order to become the person and player we know he can be."

Beckham also commented on the suspension in a statement released by the organization:

I regret that my poor judgment resulted in me letting my teammates and the Tampa Bay Rays organization down. I take full responsibility for my actions and I will use this experience to refocus my commitment to baseball. I recognize that I am blessed to be able to play baseball for a living. I owe it to my teammates, my family, and to myself to respect the game and the responsibilities that go with playing it as a professional. I am sorry.

Although the Rays are generally very successful at developing minor league talent, Beckham is not the only prospect to experience off-the-field issues in his time with the team.

Converted reliever Matt Bush was drafted as a shortstop by the Padres in 2004 and is currently dealing with charges related to a DUI and a hit-and-run (via AOL Sporting News).