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Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Quiz: Can You Tell Real MLB Draft Prospect Names From Fake Ones?

Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images
Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images

We are currently at that point in the baseball calendar when we are not strictly speaking really on the baseball calendar. Baseball-adjacent things are happening, or threatening to happen. Shohei Ohtani is giving the fans of seven teams a chance to think happy baseball thoughts, there are various depressing trade rumors surrounding Giancarlo Stanton, teams are signing wan clumps of minor league free agents, and the prospects stripped from the Braves as punishment for their running a weird shadow developmental system for 14-year-olds in the Dominican Republic have begun to catch on with new teams. But we’re still weeks from the winter meetings, and the fact that it’s still warm enough to play baseball outdoors in much of the United States has more to do with global warming than it does with any actual proximity to baseball season. We are not close. Baseball’s amateur draft, for instance, is still six months away.


That is, we are at the time in the calendar when MLB Pipeline’s Jonathan Mayo releases his first ranking of the Top 50 prospects in that draft. The list is made of real high school and college players, but because few people not paid to do so actually watch high school and college baseball games the players themselves are mostly abstract—collections of familiar tools and attributes, branded with various baseball buzzwords and scoutish appellations, all presented in various baseball-shaped packages.

In years to come these people will hold the emotional wellbeing of several million otherwise well-adjusted fans in their hands, but for the time being they might as well be made up. That so many of these prospects have glorious, musical, aspirational Contemporary Baseball Player Names doesn’t necessarily help with the abstraction of it all, but this is how it goes in December. The opportunity to enjoy some extremely baseball-ass names is as close to baseball as we will get at this moment.


So let’s do that. Below you will see 22 Extremely Baseball-Ass Names; 11 of those appear on Mayo’s Early Draft Top 50, and 11 of not. The answers are at the bottom. Let’s begin:

1. Trustin Zapf

2. Travis Swaggerty

3. Grupper Fontanelle

4. Scampi Taleggio

5. Nander De Sedas

6. Griffin Conine

7. Cupper Van Loo

8. Kumar Rocker

9. Tucker Alou

10. Seth Beer

11. Korn Boice

12. Soco Barns

13. Konnor Pilkington

14. Magnum Flowers

15. Steele Walker

16. Ecclesiastes Shofar

17. Triston Casas

18. Kooper Griinch

19. Brice Turang

20. Dominic Pipkin

21. Wes Helms III

22. Vin Soda

Answers appear after this photo of some baseball lads.

When you see the names. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)
When you see the names. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

Real MLB Draft Prospects: 2, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19, 20

Not Real MLB Draft Prospects: 1, 3, 4, 7, 9, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 21, 22

David Roth is an editor at Deadspin.

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