Videos that appear to show Cincinnati Reds pitching prospect Ian Kahaloa using recreation drugs, including one that looks like cocaine, have surfaced on social media. Kahaloa was already suspended 50 games by Major League Baseball for testing positive for “a drug of abuse” and the Reds organization has called the videos “alarming.”
Reds player development director Jeff Graupe told the Cincinnati Enquirer that, to the best of his understanding, the videos do show the 19-year-old Kahaloa.
“We’re obviously really concerned,” Graupe continued. “We’re working to get Ian the help and assistance that we believe he needs to get his long-term future to a more stable place. We’re kind of putting the baseball on the backburner.”
Here’s what you need to know about Kahaloa.
1. 4 Videos Surfaced From Kahaloa’s Snapchat, Including 1 That Appears to Show Him Snorting Cocaine
Back on March 18, Twitter user @Reds_1fan posted four videos that show scenes from Kahaloa’s Snapchat account. The four videos are all of someone filming another person using the app on their phones. In one, a person who looks like Kahaloa is shown snorting a white powder that looks like cocaine, then drinking from a Coca-Cola bottle. A caption on the video reads, “Party time lets go.”
Other videos show a bag of marijuana and a bong, with the caption “wake and bake.” In the videos, the pitcher is also wearing a Reds shirt.
Dave Matranga of PSI Sports, Kahaloa’s agent, told the Cincinnati Enquirer that he couldn’t definitively confirm if his client was in the videos. However, when Reds player development director Jeff Graupe was asked if it was Kahaloa, he replied, “To the best of our understanding, yes.”
2. MLB Suspended Kahaloa on April 4 After His Second Positive Drug Test
Back on April 4, the MLB confirmed to the Enquirer that it suspended Kahaloa for 50 games because of a positive drug test for a “drug of abuse.” Under the MLB’s Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, this includes marijuana, cocaine or opiates, but the league doesn’t reveal which drug the player tested positive for publicly.
Kahaloa already tested positive once, and that required follow-up testing. If he fails a third time, he would be suspended for 100 games. Players who fail four drug tests get a life-time ban from MLB and MLB-affiliated minor league baseball.
The pitcher will miss most of the Billings Mustangs’ season, since it only runs 75 games long. It’s not clear if he’ll even return once the suspension is up.
Graupe told the Enquirer that the Reds knew about the videos when they first surfaced in March and knew that Kahaloa had drug-use issues before.
“There’s a rehabilitation process in place. We’re optimistic that all the pieces have been put together for Ian to come out of this in a better spot, and we’ll evaluate things at that time,” Graupe said.
3. He Was Drafted Right Out of High School in 2015
The Reds drafted Kahaloa right out of high school, in the fifth round of the 2015 draft, according to his MiLB.com profile. He attended Campbell High School in Honolulu and was the Honolulu Star-Advertiser All-State pitcher of the year in 2015.
Baseball America listed Kahaloa as the Reds’ 26th best prospect, while Baseball Prospecuts listed him as the 10th best prospect in the Reds system. He played the 2016 season with the Billings Mustangs in rookie ball, posting a 2-2 record and a 2.82 ERA in 10 starts.
Matranga told the Enquirer that Kahaloa is now in a rehab program and the Reds have been supportive.
“The Reds are supporting Ian,” Matranga told the Enquirer. “He’s in rehab right now to try and get himself back on track. He’s committed to doing whatever the Cincinnati Reds need him to do. He’s accepting his punishment, and obviously he failed a drug test. We’re doing everything we can to help the young man get his life back on track.”
4. He’s Married to Kanani Kahaloa
According to Kahaloa’s Twitter account, he’s already married. The right-hander married his wife, Kannai Kahaloa in January 2017. His Twitter profile also shows that he’s a big car fan and owns a 4X4 white truck.
Kahaloa hasn’t used his Twitter page since February 4. He also has an Instagram account, but it’s private.
Kahaloa was a popular star at his high school and attracted the attention of scouts from every MLB team, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported in May 2015. The paper reported that he started playing baseball when he was only 4 years old. When he was 3 years old, he started throwing rocks and once killed a cat.
“I threw a rock at a cat and killed it,” Kahaloa told the Star-Advertise. “I didn’t know what I was doing. My mom yelled, ‘What are you doing?’ Me and my mom buried the cat, and my dad said, ‘We’ve got to get him into baseball.'”
5. Kahaloa Was Assaulted & Mugged in Hawaii in 2015
Back in November 2015, Kahaloa told KHON that he was assaulted and mugged in Kalaeloa. He got two black eyes and a busted lip when he was jumped one early Saturday morning. Even though he was with another friend, he was the only one targeted.
“I just got jumped,” he told KHON. “Surprisingly, I was the only one that got jumped. My friend didn’t.”
The thieves made off with Kahaloa’s necklace, which was his grandmother’s, along with his iPhone and watch. The mugging happened two weeks after his grandmother’s death. He wanted the thieves to return the items and did file a police report.
“I guess these five cowardly fellas that attacked him, I don’t know who they are, but thank God he’s OK,” his mother, Emmily, told KHON.