Major League Draft Prospect Stewart Signs Japanese Contract

There have been Japanese players who have wanted to forgo the Japanese draft and sign major league contracts. Those players ultimately played in Japan with Shohei Ohtani recently posted to the major leagues. No significant Japanese player has bypassed the Japanese draft to sign with a major league team.

Carter Stewart, who was drafted eighth by the Atlanta Braves in the 2018 draft has signed a six year $7 million contract with the Softbank Hawks. He failed to sign his contract with the Braves after a medical exam discovered a ligament issue in his wrist and the Braves significantly reduced their initial offer. He enrolled in a junior college to remain eligible for the major league draft and was projected to be selected somewhere in the second round.

That is a moot point now that he has signed a Japanese contract. This commits him to the Hawks for at least six years. The Hawks are not known for posting their players so an early departure does not seem possible. He will begin his Japanese career in the minor leagues and enjoy a cultural and educational experience.

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