Phillies prospect arrested in cocaine bust

Tyson Gillies tries to catch a baseball during spring training. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Tyson Gillies tries to catch a baseball during spring training. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer) (Yong Kim)
Posted: August 20, 2010

  Tyson Gillies, one of three prospects acquired from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade last offseason, was arrested in Clearwater early this morning and charged with felony cocaine possession, the Pinellas County Sheriff Department confirmed. Bond was posted and he was released.

   Assistant general manager, player development and scouting Chuck LaMar read a statement on the team's behalf.

   “We are aware that Tyson Gillies was arrested today on a drug possession charge arising out of out of an incident that is alleged to have occurred this past June,” he said. “Because this is an open criminal case, we will not comment further at this time.”

   According to the St. Petersburg Times, which first reported the story, the 21-year-old outfielder was arrested at 1:10 a.m. and released at 10:52 p..m. on $2,000 bond.

   He's been batting .238 while playing only 26 games for Double-A Reading. Bothered much of the year with a hamstring injury, he was in Florida on a rehab assignment in June and was back in Clearwater on a separate rehab assignment when the arrest occurred. He played two games for the Gulf Coast League Phillies last week.

   Gillies, along with righthanders Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez, was acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the controversial trade that sent Lee to Seattle last December.

   He batted .341 with 44 stolen bases for Class A High Desert in 2009. At the time of the deal, most of the stories centered on the human interest angle that Gillies was succeeding in baseball despite being legally deaf.

--Paul Hagen

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