Royals MiLB: Raul Mondesi PED Use Accidental

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Mar 30, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Raul Mondesi (27) at bat during the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 30, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals shortstop Raul Mondesi (27) at bat during the third inning against the Texas Rangers at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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KC Royals no. 1 overall prospect Raul Adalberto Mondesi received a 50-day suspension from major-league baseball for a PED violation, according to ESPN. However, he received a reduced penalty because MLB determined his use was unintentional.

Rumors have been swirling that another PED violation was coming after MLB announced an 80-day suspension for Miami second baseman, and defending batting crown winner, Dee Gordon. Today, we discovered that Kansas City Royals AA prospect Raul Mondesi is that player. The delay appears to be due to the KC Royals making the case that Mondesi’s use was unintentional.

This explains Mondesi’s 50-day penalty, as opposed to the 80-day ban leveled at Gordon.

Mondesi tested positive for Clenbuterol, which only has mild anabolic effects. The drug is abused by athletes primarily for its ability to help weight-loss, which hardly seems to be a problem for the 20-year-old Mondesi who stands 6’1″ and weighs in at a trim 185 pounds.

Mondesi issued this press release on Tuesday afternoon (quoted from MLB Trade Rumors):

"“Today I agreed to accept a 50 game suspension from Major League Baseball. It is by far one of the hardest moments I have had to face in my life, but it is a decision that I accept and one that I take full responsibility for as a professional. I took an over-the-counter medication (Subrox-C) which I bought in the Dominican Republic to treat cold and flu symptoms. I failed to read the labeling on the medication or consult with my trainer or team about taking it and did not know it contained a banned substance. … I apologize to my organization, my teammates, the fans and everyone who has supported me in my career. Never did I intend to take a substance that would give me an unfair advantage on the field. It is solely my mistake and there are no excuses for my carelessness in not being fully informed of what I put in my body.”"

Raul Mondesi is not only ranked the no. 1 prospect in the Kansas City Royals system, Baseball Prospectus ranks him the no. 16 overall prospect in MLB. Mondesi showed increased power through the first month of 2016, slashing .250/.304/.462 with five home runs in 104 at bats for the KC Royals AA affiliate NW Arkansas. Mondesi has never hit more than eight home runs in any full season.

Mondesi’s suspension throws a wrench in hopes that Mondesi might get a September call-up to audition for a roster spot in 2017. Another interesting question is if Mondesi’s recent power surge was due to his Clenbuterol use.

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If Mondesi was indeed using an over-the-counter product to treat a cold, it’s unlikely to have helped him at the plate to any significant degree.

The clear lesson for any baseball player is that they need to take only supplements and medications on the league “safe” list.

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