By Oscar Pascual |
Tim Lincecum’s days of dominance by Cy Young seem to be over, so the San Francisco Giants just lined up another weed-smoking flamethrower in Phil Bickford.
The Giants used their 18th pick of the 2015 MLB draft on Monday to draw Bickford, a University of Southern Nevada right-handed pitcher known for his towering 6-foot-4, 205 lb. frame and blistering 97-mph fastball, McCovey Chronicles reported.
However, Bickford was drafted with the knowledge that he tested positive for marijuana coming in this year’s draft, reports Baseball America.
The MLB currently subjects the top 200 draft prospects to a pre-draft medical program that includes a random drug test 30 days before the actual draft. Prospects will not be penalized for testing positive, but will not be eligible for selection if they fail to take the test.
Despite testing positive for the pot, Bickford is coming off a very dominant collegiate season, scoring 9-1 with a 1.45 ERA and striking out 166 in 86 2/3 innings. This is probably why Giants management is happy with their choice despite his cannabis use.
“To get a power arm… we’re pretty excited about that,” John Barr, assistant general manager for scouting and international operations, said in an interview with SF port.
If Bickford’s stats aren’t enough to shake off his weed stigma, Bickford’s Southern Nevada coach Nick Garritano told the Las Vegas Review Journal that Bickford’s “fastball mastery for a 19-year-old is incredible.”
It’s not sure yet if Bickford will actually succeed, but he can smoke in peace if he ever earns a spot on the Giants roster, as the MLB doesn’t test big players on marijuana.
Photo credit: SportingNews.com