Major League Baseball announced on Friday that seven players had been suspended for violating the league's Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. One of those players was right-hander Oscar Tovar, one of the A's top right-handed pitching prospects. Tovar was suspended 25 games for a substance of abuse. The suspension will begin tomorrow, which is the start of the Dominican Summer League season. Tovar, who has been pitching at the A's minor league complex since this spring, is likely to make his 2016 debut with the A's AZL squad later this year.
We ranked Tovar as the A's 26th-best prospect coming into this season. The 6'1'' right-hander can touch 97 MPH with his fastball and has the makings of a good breaking ball and change-up. He has drawn some comparisons to former A's right-hander Rich Harden thanks to his stuff and relatively small stature. Tovar made his professional debut last season in the Dominican Summer League. He posted a mediocre 26:22 K:BB in 55.1 innings, but he allowed just 35 hits and posted a 2.60 ERA. His GO/AO was 1.59.
Tovar turned 18 in March. He made his US debut in the A's Fall Instructional League last year, one of two pitchers invited from the team's Dominican program to make their US debuts during fall Instructs.