Brewers release third-base prospect Delmonico

MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers have released troubled Minor League third baseman Nick Delmonico, who ranked No. 18 on MLB.com's list of Milwaukee's top prospects.

Acquired from the Orioles in a July 2013 for Francisco Rodriguez, Delmonico is in the middle of a 50-game suspension levied last season after he tested positive for an amphetamine. Baseball America was first to note Delmonico's release, and reported that he'd signed with the White Sox.

"We couldn't contact him," Brewers farm director Reid Nichols told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on Friday. "He wouldn't return calls. We couldn't find him. With all the maintenance, we didn't feel like he was a Major League prospect. So, the work wasn't worth it. It was too much to deal with. There was a lot going on there."

Delmonico also missed time earlier in the 2014 season for personal reasons. He will turn 23 in July and owns a .245/.340/.414 slash line over parts of three Minor League seasons.

His release marks a missed opportunity, since third base is a relatively thin position in Milwaukee's farm system. The Brewers have some candidates to move to that position, including 2014 international acquisition Gilbert Lara, though the Journal Sentinel reported Lara will remain at shortstop for now.

Other shortstops who could eventually settle at third base include Jake Gatewood, No. 4 on the Brewers' prospect list, and Luis Sardinas, who was acquired from the Rangers last month in the Yovani Gallardo trade.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brew Beat, and follow him on Twitter at @AdamMcCalvy. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.