Thursday, the Twins officially announced what many had suspected all along: "Engelb Vielma," supposedly a light-hitting middle-infielder from Venezuela, is actually a fictional creation, a la Sidd Finch.
"Frankly, we were surprised that our joke went on so long," said Twins spokesman Dustin Morse. "It seemed obvious that it was a prank, especially when we put it out that his middle name was 'Stalin,' but in the internet age, people just assumed that he was a prospect and didn't question it."
Vielma, whose name was created by scrambling the letters in "Level Beaming," the title of a feature on Rob Antony's new car, supposedly batted a combined .265 across High-A and AA last season. With the Twins' dearth of shortstop options, some wondered if Vielma could potentially provide some much-needed depth.
"I think people just wanted to believe," said Antony. "After things with Levi Michael went south, people just needed something to grab onto."
When asked about the status of Ehire Adrianza, whose name is an anagram for "Zanier Airhead," or Wander Javier ("A Redrawn Jive"), Antony only grinned cryptically and said, "Hope is definitely around the corner for Twins fans."