Norwin graduate JJ Matijevic suspended 50 games by minor league baseball
Houston Astros prospect JJ Matijevic has been suspended 50 games under baseball’s minor league drug program following a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
Selected by Houston with the 75th overall pick in the second round of the 2017 amateur draft, the 23-year-old Norwin graduate was hitting .240 with two homers, seven RBIs and 29 strikeouts in 75 at-bats this year in 19 games for Double-A Corpus Christi of the Texas League.
His suspension was announced Tuesday by the commissioner’s office.
The 6-foot, 206-pound Matijevic, a former WPIAL triple crown winner and a star at Arizona, recently homered in back-to-back games.
According to the Houston Chronicle, the Astros said in a statement, “The Astros continue to fully support Major League Baseball’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Programs. It is disappointing when any player is in violation of the policies that are in place. We hope that JJ will learn from this experience moving forward.”
Matijevic, who bats from the left side and throws right-handed, finished last season with the Buies Creek Astros of the Class A-Advanced Carolina League.
He began the year with the Quad Cities River Bandits of the Class A Midwest League.
Combined, he batted .277 with 22 home runs and 62 RBIs.
A former corner infielder and designated hitter, he has toggled between infielder and outfielder. He has played various positions for the Hooks.
Matijevic initially was drafted out of high school by the Boston Red Sox, who took him as a shortstop in the 22nd round of the 2014 draft. He chose not to sign and went to Arizona where his stock rose.
Houston took him in the second round in 2017. He signed and started out with the Tri-City ValleyCats in Class A short season ball in the New York-Penn League.
There have been 18 players suspended this year under the minor league program, plus Boston pitcher Steven Wright, Kansas City pitcher Eric Skoglund and Houston pitcher Francis Martes under the major league program.
#Astros 2017 No. 75 overall #MLBDraft pick J.J. Matijevic has been suspended 50 games without pay following a 2nd positive test for a drug of abuse. Matijevic is No. 22 on the @Astros' Top 30 Prospects list: https://t.co/9C1DApJNnx pic.twitter.com/G3LEnR70b9
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 30, 2019
Astros minor league first baseman J.J. Matijevic, a second-round draft pick in 2017, has been suspended 50 games after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
— Jake Kaplan (@jakemkaplan) April 30, 2019
— Astros Future (@AstrosFuture) April 25, 2019