When Esmailyn Gonzalez first arrived to Washington Nationals camp at the age of 17, he earned the nickname 'Smiley,' because of his constantly pleasant demeanor. However, with the news breaking today it is clear that he wasn't smiling with joy for the game, but because he knew something we all didn't; 19-year-old Esmailyn Gonzalez is actually 23-year-old Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo.
SI.com reported late last night that the prized possession prospect for the Washington Nationals lied about his age en route to signing a record $1.4 million contract in 2006. The signing was a momentous occasion for the young franchise who used it's winning bid for the shortstop as proof of their "pledge to become an industry leader in scouting and player development."
The news today of Gonzalez's false identity has put both his future with the organization as well as his future in the United States in jeopardy. It is unclear whether the shortstop will even be able to attain a visa to arrive to spring training, assuming the Nationals would even want him.
At 18 his numbers in the Gulf Coast League (.343/.431/,475) were very impressive. While 'Gonzalez,' had considerable tools they weren't yet put together, but his age made up for that. At the age of 23 however he is now considered very raw and the likelihood of his body developing further is very slim.
The bottom line:
Esmailyn Gonzalez- possible future superstar
Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo- average minor league bum
more to come...