Should all MLB draftees be subjected to steroid and PED testing? In the opinion of Texas Ranger's executive GM Jon Daniels draft picks should be dope-tested. Texas felt the sting of steroid-cheating when a top draft pick -- Matt West -- peed steroids when he was a teenage phenom. This hurts because Texas is a club trying to change their image as a team with a juiced past. Story with SportsDay:
Yahoo.com's Jeff Passan has an interesting story on Rangers farmhand Matt West, who is best known for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs fresh out of high school.
He was 18 years old when he tested positive. A kid, the kind those Congressmen always talk about, only real. The Texas Rangers drafted him in the second round last year out of Bellaire High near Houston, gave him a reported $400,000 bonus and sent him to the rookie Arizona League. He hit .301 in 29 games and would've played in a 30th, the Rangers' season finale, had Major League Baseball not slapped a 50-game suspension on him.
Give Jon Daniels credit for not dancing around the sticky subject. Daniels said he was disappointed in West's decision and the Rangers' evaluation process -- "that we had not necessarily seen an accurate portrayal."
The Mitchell Report recommended that the top 100 baseball draftees be dope tested. An argument could be made that all MLB draftees be tested.
Passan mentions that the Mitchell Report recommended that the top 100 draft prospects as rated by Major League Baseball be tested for PEDs.
"I don't necessarily think the top 100 is enough," Daniels said in the story. "You get fifth-, sixth-, seventh-round picks, and they're getting $200,000.
"At some point, you open it up and just say any player who's going to sign an amateur contract is obligated to take a test."
Considering the pervasive influence of PEDs in baseball, an argument for pervasive testing has legs.