Players’ Weekend is back in 2018, with the MLB announcing that August 24-26 will be the weekend that players will be able to actually showcase their personalities on the diamond. One of the perks that comes with Players’ Weekend is each player’s ability to put a nickname on the back of their jerseys, which the MLB has announced.
Here are the best nicknames for each major league team, in alphabetical order. For a full list of nicknames for every big league player, check out this list the MLB put out earlier today.
Angels: Chris Young: “C Y”
Chris Young will never actually win the Cy Young award, in large part due to him being an outfielder, but Young’s ability to incorporate his initials into the “Cy Young” is great. unfortunately, Young is hurt, which means we will not be able to see Cy Young on the mound over Players’ Weekend.
Astros: Charlie Morton: “Ground Chuck”
Who wouldn’t want to have beef as their Players’ Weekend nickname? Double that with his almost 50% ground ball rate, and “Ground Chuck” should be living up to his nickname come Players’ Weekend.
Athletics: Khris Davis: “KD”
Again, it’s just his initials. However, at least this KD, who also happens to play in Oakland, hasn’t jumped ship to a superteam after being embarrassed in the playoffs.
Blue Jays: Josh Donaldson: “Bringer of Rain”
The Blue Jays didn’t really have a lot of good ones to choose from, with some players just opting for their last name. However, Donaldson’s signature nickname, which is great in and of itself, is a great selection.
Braves: Luke Jackson: “Skywalker”
If you have a chance to throw one of the most popular movies of all-time into your Players’ Weekend nickname, you have to do it. Atlanta is going to be in Miami for Players’ Weekend, but I’ll be really disappointed in Derek Jeter if he doesn’t warm up to the Imperial March.
Brewers: Manny Pina: “Pineapple”
This one only makes sense unless you know Spanish, or in my case, know how to use Google Translate. Piña is Spanish for pineapple, which is where the Brewers’ catcher gets his nickname. Also, as is the case with Charlie Morton, you always want to walk around with the name of a food on your back if at all possible.
Cardinals: Michael Wacha: “Wachamole”
If you can make your last name into a pun, you are going to have a leg up in this competition. Neither Matt Carpenter nor Adam Wainwright used anything involving salsa, unfortunately, and Wacha’s is the next best thing. Let’s just hope he doesn’t hit anyone in the head with a mallet like his name would suggest.
Cubs: Justin Hancock: “Herbie”
There are a plethora of famous people with the last name Hancock for Justin to choose to represent, but choosing Herbie, who is from Chicago, is a nice touch. It also gives me a chance to rewatch this scene from “Tommy Boy”, which is a massive plus.
Diamondbacks: Brad Boxberger: “🎁🍔”
This is the best nickname in the league, and I’m not sure it’s close. Brad Boxberger is actually going to have emojis on the back of his jersey, and I could not be more excited for it.
Dodgers: Pat Venditte: “P-Vitty”
The Dodgers had a lot to choose from, but I went with the league’s most interesting player, Pat Venditte. Much like Luke “Skywalker” Jackson and the Imperial March, if Venditte doesn’t warm up to some classic P-Diddy, he’s done it wrong.
Giants: Derek Holland: “Last Name”
It’s not often that a player can make an equipment manager look unprepared, but Holland’s literally going to look like an anonymous guy they pulled off the street and put a jersey on with his nickname. And I like it.
Indians: Shane Bieber: “Not Justin”
I think this one speaks for itself. All I can say is that I sincerely hope Cleveland doesn’t catch Bieber Fever. He may not pitch a shutout, but you can Never Say Never.
Mariners: James Paxton: “Big Maple”
Paxton throws it back to his Canadian roots his with Players’ Weekend nickname. Personally, I think he should have done something pertaining to a bald eagle, but this name is good too.
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Marlins: Drew Steckenrider: “Steckasuarus”
Like I said earlier, if you can make your name into a pun, you are probably going to have a great nickname. However, much like the Marlins’ playoff hopes this year, the steckasaurus never actually existed.
Mets: Noah Syndergaard: “Thor”
I think the Norse god of lightning has become more synonymous with Syndergaard than even his 100 MPH over the past few years. However, Thor still a fantastic nickname for a pitcher who throws as fast as lightning.
Nationals: Erik Fedde: “Feddeccini”
This combines the two things I love for the Players’ Weekend nicknames: food and puns. Fedde does it perfectly here. Well done.
Orioles: Paul Fry: “Papa Frita”
Fry totally could have just gone “French” and gotten the crown here, but he decided to not only use the “French Fry” idea but to also change the language to up the ante. I like it.
Padres: Phil Maton: “Spin Rate”
If you haven’t read the Fangraphs piece on Maton and his high spin-rate fastball, you should. It’s captivating stuff, and I love Maton paying homage to it, and to analytics as a whole, with this nickname.
Phillies: Rhys Hoskins (“Big Fella”) and Tommy Hunter (“Bigger Fella”)
I believe this is Players’ Weekend’s first ever tandem nickname, and the creativity behind it is fantastic to me. I’m really hoping Rhys and Tommy manage to go back-to-back sometime over that weekend.
Pirates: Ivan Nova: “Super Nova”
Again, punnable name and Nova does it well. There wasn’t much to pick from with the Pirates, so our best hope is that Clint Hurdle shows up and shocks the world with something amazing.
Rangers: Ariel Jurado: “Bartolito”
Jurado, who is listed at 180 pounds, doesn’t have anywhere near the same body type as his fellow Dominican teammate, but if “Little Bartolo” is anywhere near as fun as his namesake, Jurado is going to have a great career to follow.
Rays: Jake Faria: “Fuh-ree-uh”
Faria just making sure everyone knows how to pronounce his last name is absolutely fantastic and pretty hilarious. It makes it easy on the broadcasters, as well.
Red Sox: Brock Holt: “Brockstar”
It was a tough choice between Holt and Austin Maddox’s “Madd Dawg,” but I went with Holt’s pun over Maddox’s. This is one of the few times it is acceptable for a Major League Baseball player to useNickelbackk for his walk-up music.
Reds: Tucker Barnhart: “Barney”
The Reds probably have the weakest nicknames of any team in the league, as a collective. However, just imagine Tucker Barnhart trying to walk behind the plate wearing a massive costume of a purple dinosaur. That would be must-see television.
Rockies: Tyler Anderson: “Mr. Duck”
This does have some reasoning behind it, speaking that Anderson played his college ball at the University of Oregon, but the sheer “What?” factor of having a guy named Mr. Duck strutting to the mound is pretty funny.
Royals: Danny Duffy: “Chill Sergeant”
Again, the Royals are a team that could have done much better than they did with their names. Duffy seems like a fairly chill guy, so the play on “drill sergeant” is pretty good here.
Tigers: Michael Fulmer: “The Plumber”
Michael Fulmer has one of the most interesting hobbies I have ever seen. He enjoys plumbing during the offseason, despite making a ton as a dominant pitcher. Also, like “Mr. Duck,” just imagine a guy with “plumber” on his back shutting down a major league offense for seven innings.
Twins: Logan Forsythe: “Logy Bear”
I am really mad that not one of Forsythe’s new Twins teammates decided to go with something along the lines of “Boo-Boo” to pair with “Logy”, but I really enjoy Forsythe paying homage to everyone’s favorite cartoon bear.
White Sox: Adam Engel: “Man of Steal”
I’m not sure we can definitively say that Engel is NOT actually Superman, because I’m not sure how any normal human being is supposed to “steal” these home runs from the bats of the Yankees.
Two games, two INSANE catches.
— MLB (@MLB) August 8, 2018
Yankees: Sonny Gray: “Pickles”
Just picture in your head a pitcher, who happens to play for the storybook New York Yankees, walking to the mound with “PICKLES” draped across his back. Weird picture, right? I love it.