Former 1st-Round Draft Pick Rowell Banned 50 Games

NEW YORK (AP) — Former first-round draft pick Billy Rowell, selected by the Baltimore Orioles with the ninth overall pick in 2006, has been suspended for 50 games for a second violation for a drug of abuse under the minor league drug program.

Rowell is on the roster of Class A Aberdeen of the New York-Penn League, and his penalty will start with the team’s opener on June 18.

The 23-year-old hit .227 with no homers and 11 RBIs last year at Double-A Bowie and .273 with one homer and seven RBIs for the Rookie League Gulf Coast Orioles.

The suspension announced Monday was the 41st this year under the minor league program, including 16 for drugs of abuse.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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