Josh Sale was drafted in the first round of the 2010 draft by the Rays–17th overall. A High School pick, he was an impact hitter with underwhelming fielding skills. He made up for it with that bat: his bat speed was top notch, and his power was near the top of the 20-80 scale. Even better, he had good plate discipline, so he is not a strikeout machine. He had some flaws in his swing, but he was thought to be a hard worker with great makeup, who would take to coaching well.
He was the Rays #5 prospect in 2010, and #24 after the 2012 season. Despite not really hitting the ground running, he was making the adjustments needed to perform at the professional level and was young enough to put it together.
Then, in 2012, he was suspended 50 games for a failed drug test, popping positive for methamphetamine and an amphetamine. Then, just as his 50 game suspension ended, he was suspended indefinitely for “conduct detrimental to the organization.” That conduct was a facebook update that berated a stripper.
But the club has not given up on him. He was one of 24 prospects the club invited to the teams 2014 Winter Development Program, and he should be off the restricted list by the end of Spring Training.
I am rooting for him. It is not easy coming out of High School, getting paid a big bonus, and then embarking on a professional sports career. Sure, plenty of guys do it without any issues, but everyone is different. And at that age, you are going to make some silly choices…its just a matter of learning from them and moving on. Hopefully he has, and can get his career back on track.