In a series which featured the possible AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, Delmon Young is your ALCS MVP. Go figure.
Proving to be a thorn in the Yankees’ side of the second straight postseason, Young batted .353 (6-for-17) with two home runs, a double and six RBI during the series. He knocked in a run in all four games of the ALCS and went 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI single and a run scored in the clincher today.
On a side note, American League honorary president Jackie Autry referred to Young a “class act” during the award ceremony. Yes, the same guy who was arrested in April for a hate-crime and threw a bat at an umpire as a minor leaguer in 2006. All sorts of cliches are used during these types of things, so it’s ultimately not a big deal, but “class act” was a pretty unfortunate choice of words.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.