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Vladimir Guerrero Jr. probably doesn’t exist

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Supposedly, Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is the 19-year-old son of a baseball Hall of Famer and one of the most fun players of the last 25 years and he’s hitting .418 with seven homers and more walks than strikeouts in Double-A right at this very moment. But this seems so unlikely that it’s probably entirely made up by someone who wants us to believe that baseball isn’t a dying sport recently overtaken by college lacrosse in popularity.

I read on Twitter that Guerrero went 4-for-4 with a homer and two doubles for something called the New Hampshire Fisher Cats today. According to Baseball-Reference.com, a typically reliable site, he was already hitting .400 in 33 games going into the day. If what I read was true, his OPS now stands at 1.163. Mike Trout is nearly impossible himself and he had a .958 OPS in Double-A when he was 19. According to B-Ref, Guerrero has driven in 40 runs in 34 games and struck out just 13 times while collecting 23 extra-base hits and 14 walks.

And, frankly, that all sounds great and I’d like to believe. But I’m just not that optimistic by nature. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is fake news, and I dare you to prove me wrong by calling him up, Blue Jays.

American draft prospect Carter Stewart signs in Japan

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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.