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Are These MLB Draft Names Real Or Fake?

TEST YOUR MIGHT. Or, anyway, look at these beautiful baseball prospect names and see if you can tell which ones belong to real people.

David Roth

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Think of baseball as a country, and the game's perpetual crisis of confidence makes a different sort of sense. Baseball spends its offseason tinkering with the on-field product and fretting over its perceived decline; the specific social and political and economic channels flowing into Why are generally understood and mostly ignored. Given that the league and its teams are still popular and profitable, and that the game is transparently not failing, this seems strange and even self-defeating.

But if you think of baseball as a sort of nation-of-mind, an idea made real enough to have a culture and citizens of its own, then the way it circles its existential anxieties makes sense. Look at it this way and the things troubling the game are not just problems to solve, or trends to analyze. They are crises of culture, with repercussions that will echo forward and outward in the future of the game.

If baseball seems self-regarding, it's because...well, it's because it is intensely self-regarding, but also because it believes itself to be important enough to warrant it. How ridiculous this is or isn't depends on your perspective, but there is something to it. Baseball has its own folkways and weird collective hangups, its own language, which in turn has its own peculiar dialects. It has its own peculiar way of understanding its history. It has, even, its own way of naming its players. It is true that the baseball names we see every year around the MLB Draft mostly reflect the naming habits of the places where baseball players come from—a whiter-than-not geographic area we might call Sun Belt Extended. But it is also true that these names—these beautiful, wonderful, musical, strange, loaded names—are just what people are called in the country of baseball.

Below you will find a quiz in which 10 of these names, which belong to real MLB Draft prospects, are listed along with 12 names that I made up. Your challenge is to pick the names that belong to actual baseball players from those that don't. The quiz begins after this picture of three baseball boys.

Here are some baseball boys. Photo by Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

MLB Draft Names: Real Or Nah?

1. Trucker Sax

2. Logan Warmoth

3. Shane Baz

4. Atom Iorg

5. Jeter Downs

6. Kheyvenn Detmer

7. Boggs Wenke

8. Zach Pop

9. Hagen Danner

10. Stallone Carbonaro

11. Dangerson Balentien

12. Caden Lemons

13. Braydon Braden

14. Colton Hock

15. Pacsun Krill

16. Pavin Smith

17. Burger Hutto

18. Kuattro Pasqua

19. Mason House

20. Logan Hogan

21. Tristen Lutz

22. Tody Vander Loo

The answers can be found under this photo of Juan Uribe posing with some fans in 2015.

An important buffer. Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Actual Players: 2, 3, 5, 8, 9, 12, 14, 16, 19, 21

Probably Also Actual Players, But Since We Don't Know for Sure We Have to Say They're Made Up: 1, 4, 6, 7, 10, 11, 13, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22