Former first-rounder Collier suspended 50 games

Phillies prospect Zach Collier will begin serving a 50-game suspension at the start of the 2012 season. (Eric Mencher/Staff Photographer)

MILWAUKEE -- Zach Collier, the Phillies' first-round pick in 2008, was suspended 50 games Thursday by Major League Baseball for testing positive for amphetamine. The suspension is effective at the start of next season.

Collier turned 21 on the day he received a dose of discouraging news. He was selected 34th overall in 2008 and missed all of the 2010 season due to a litany of injuries. He played at single-A Lakewood this season and hit .255 with one home run and 36 RBIs.

"I'm loving it right now," Collier told The Inquirer in May. "I'm really enjoying and appreciating the game. I feel like a different player than I was before.

Collier described his 2010 as a disturbing time.

"It was a dark place," Collier told The Inquirer. "I was real depressed. I was hurt and I felt pressure because I thought I should be playing. I had surgery for the hamate bone before spring training, then I hurt my wrist and then I pulled my quad three times."

The suspension of Collier is the sixth performance-enhancing drug ban imposed by MLB on the Phillies this season, the most in baseball.

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