11:08pm: Perez tested positive for “an undisclosed performance enhancer,” according to John Manuel and J.J. Cooper of Baseball America. Cooper and Manuel cite conversations with “multiple decision makers” in adding that there’s an expectation that he’ll still go in the first round to a team that gets approval from ownership, as his talent will be deemed too enticing to pass up.
Cooper and Manuel also report that University of Kentucky infielder JaVon Shelby tested positive for Adderall, which is considered a performance enhancer despite its common usage as a treatment for ADHD. Shelby isn’t as highly regarded as Perez, though he did rate 260th in BA’s compilation of the top 500 prospects in this year’s draft class.
6:00pm: Top draft prospect Delvin Perez, a shortstop out of Puerto Rico, has been sliding on recent mock drafts from draft experts, and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the reason for the slide is a failed drug test. ESPN’s Keith Law tweets that he’s heard the same. It’s not clear whether the substance in question was recreational or performance enhancing, but Law adds that he’s been told the substance was not marijuana. Baseball America’s John Manuel adds further context, tweeting that the Major League scouting bureau tests the top 200 prospects in the draft each year and sends results to teams, but this year’s batch of test results are “unusually late” and have not yet been received by MLB clubs.
Perez, still just 17 years of age (he’ll turn 18 in November), has drawn interest as high as No. 2 overall in the draft (the Reds), according to Heyman. While he was projected to go in the top five to 10 selections of the draft earlier this spring, he fell out of the first round entirely on Baseball America’s most recent mock draft (published earlier today) and slid to No. 13 on Law’s latest attempt to map out the first round.
Baseball America’s scouting report (subscription required and wholeheartedly recommended) pegs Perez as a true shortstop with all the tools to stay at the position from a defensive standpoint as well as plus speed and excellent bat speed. MLB.com’s scouting report on Delvin offers many of the same pluses and minuses, as each outlet notes that he needs work on his pitch recognition and approach at the plate. Earlier today, Law called him “the most tooled-up player in the [draft] class” and added that he’s the “ideal high-ceiling selection” for a patient team that is content to wait for the considerable development and refinement which Perez requires (Insider subscription required and recommended here as well).
Details surrounding Perez’s test remain unclear, so for the time being it’s impossible to determine exactly what type of slide he’ll experience in the draft. It’s not uncommon to see high school players that slide in the draft ultimately attend college instead of signing, but per BA’s scouting report, Perez has not committed to a college. Of course, depending on the substance in question, there may not be any type of slide at all; Rockies right-hander Jon Gray tested positive for Adderall in the weeks leading up to the draft and was still selected with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 draft, for instance. Braves righty Aaron Blair, who went 36th overall to the Diamondbacks that same year (roughly in line with many of his initial projections), tested positive for Adderall as well.