Funniest Names in the A.L. 2013
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Baseball has an ever widening web of regions where Major Leaguers come from - and some places are very creative with naming their young.

Warning: this is a silly juvenile posting, but I have noticed some particularly funny names in organized baseball this year – at least, to my WASPy ears. Perhaps, “funny” isn’t quite the right description, but there is something notable about each of these names.

By organization  (sorry, American League only):

Baltimore Orioles:

Nate McLouth, Many Machado, and Nick Markakis - that’s three interesting M names to make up for the brief stolid anglo names of Adam Jones, Chris Davis, and Brian Roberts.

Wei-Yin Chen – don’t know if this is an unusual first name in Chinese Taiwan.

Jair Jurrgens – doesn’t get much stranger than that.

Pedro Strop and Jonathan Schoop – well, maybe it does.

Brain Matusz – included because his “stuff” was the talk of the spring a couple years ago.

Niuman Romaro – Is this a Venezuelan twist on Newman? And is that a first name?

These three names need no explanation: Tsuyoshi Wada, Zealous Wheeler, Trent Mummey.

Lex Rutledge – not so odd, but a tongue-twister. Say it fast.


Boston Red Sox:

You know Jacoby Ellsbury, Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, Will Middlebrooks, Clay Buchholz, Felix Doubront, John Lackey, Joel Hanrahan, Koji Uehara, and most of all: Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

You probably know:

Junichi Tazawa, Ryan Lavarnway, Xander Bogaerts, and Bryce Brentz.

But did you know:

Kolbrin Vitek, Jeremy Hazelbaker, Adalberto Ibarro, Kyle Kamisnka, and Blake Swihart?

Or, Rubby De La Rosa (It has a great rhythm to it.)

Or the namesake of Coldplay’s and Gwyneth Paltrow’s Chris Martin?

Bob Shirley played in the Majors for a decade - why not Manuel Margot?

New York Yankees:

For one reason or another Ichiro Suzuki, Kevin Youkilis, C.C. Sabathia, Joba Chamberlain, Robinson Cano and Andy Pettitte each raise the needle slightly on the amusement meter.

Some lesser known Yankees have some fun names, too: Boone Logan, Clay Rapada, and Francisco Cervelli.

Coming up are: Addison Maruszak, Abraham Almonte, and Ronnier Mustelier.

How many of you are always getting Delin Betances and Manny Banuelos mixed up?


Tampa Bay Rays:

Their most likely 1-3 hitters: Desmond Jennings, Yunel Escobar, and Ben Zobrist.

James Loney – how is that pronounced?

The name Jake McGee is more funky than funny.

Sam Fuld is a fan favorite.

Too bad Dane De La Rosa was just DFAed.

Nick Weglarz, Jake Odorizzi, and Taylor Guerrieri are prospects.

Kes Carter and Neil Schenk are in the organization.


Toronto Blue Jays:

Most distinctive names: Colby Rasmus, Maicer Izturis and Emilio Bonifacio.

J.P. Arencibia has as many syllables as Edwin Encarnacion. They both flow.

Melky and Rajai have unique first names.

Josh Thole, Ryan Goins, and Aaron Loup have short odd last names.

Then there’s Jim Negrych, Lance Zawadzki, Gabe Jacobo, Ryan Schimpf, Tommy Hottovy, Jason Leblebijian, Jeremy Gabryszwski, and a Smoral, Ghysels, Nanita, Sikula, and Tyler Ybarra.


Chicago White Sox:

Dewayne Wise has a funny spelling to his first name.

Addison Reed is unusual in a very dignified way.

Phegley and Omogrosso are last names that do not conjure up the most pleasant images.

Marjama is better.


Cleveland Indians:

Asdrubal Cabrera, Eziquiel Carrera, Lonnie Chisenhall, Chris McGuiness and Ubaldo Jimenez make for memorable names from the Major League roster. Yan Gomes might make the team. What about Cord Phelps?

Deeper in the minors they have Dorsyss Paulino, Giovanny Urshela, Carlos Moncrief, and two pitchers I hope come up at the same time:  Kiernan Lovegrove and Michael Goodnight.


Detroit Tigers:

Have funny spellings for first names: Torii (Hunter) and Jhonny (Peralta). They have a Prince (Fielder), Anibal (Sanchez), Octavio (Dotel), Quintin (Berry) – or Avisail (Garcia), and two Brayans (Pena and Villarreal). For last names they have Coke (Phil), Dirks (Andy), Fister (Doug), and look out Below (Duane) who may be fighting for a roster spot with Smyly (Drew).

The stand out name on the farm is Matt Tuiasosopo.


Kansas City Royals:

The Major League Royals names aren’t that strange, although Lorenzo Cain is a bit of an unexpected combination. Johnny Giavotella is a large mouthful. So, is Guillermo Moscosco. Alcides (Escobar) strikes me as a made-up first name, but I’d have to live in Venezuela to be more confident of that. In fact, it seems unusual first names are what is usual in Venezuela with the generation in that is now in their 20s.

There are plenty of eye-catching names deep in the Royals org: Sharlon Schoop, Whit Merrifield, Ian Gac (that’s only 6 letters!), Kenny Diekroeger, Nicholas Cuckovich, Cheslor Cuthbert, Bryan Brickhouse, and Daniel Stumpf.


Minnesota Twins:

The projected Twins line-up has some terrific names: Chris Parmalee, Trevor Plouffe, Pedro Florimon, Darrin Mastroianni. The team has a Duensing and a Doumit. Anthony Swarzak is in the pen.

My favorite name in their minors: Candido Pimentel.


Houston Astros:

There are no wildly named Astros, but their AAA pitching rotation could have Brad Peacock, Jarred Cosart, Dallas Keuchel, and Brett Oberholtzer. Down in AA are Matthew Heidenreich, Asher Wojciechowski, and Wes Musick. I like the name Max Stassi. He might be catching Jason Chowning, Murilo Gouvea, and Pat Urkfitz. In the low minors, is one of the Astros' top pitching prospects by the unlikely name of Mike Foltynewicz. Also high on their prospect list are two palyer with the same names as former Major Leguers (yes, their dads): Delino DeShields and Lance McCullers.


Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: that in itself is a weird name.

Trout, Aybar, Pujols, Trumbo, Callespo, Iannetta, and Bourjos give their line-up plenty of catchy last names. The most striking full name on the team has to be Ernesto Frieri.

Down on the farm they have Cassevah, Shuk, Schugel, Chaffee, Kobayashi, Cron, and Mutz.


Oakland Athletics:

Of course, Coco Crisp is one of the all-time greatest names – if you like humour and pizzazz in your name. It’s much better than the merely silly Milton Bradley or the once pervasive Howard Johnson.

Hiroyuki Nakajima may be normal in Japanese, but it sounds funny in English. A Daric is an ancient Persian gold coin – or the struggling A’s first-baseman named Barton. If you google Yoenis, all you get is Cespedes.

You could make a mild case for each member of the bullpen:

Grant Balfour- too close to “ball four” for a pitcher.

Ryan Cook - not so unusual, but “cook” is a word – not that I’m including every word name.

Sean Doolittle – not unusual either, but taking the last name as two words, it is not flattering.

Jordan Norberto – an odd combination of names.

Pat Neshek, Jerry Blevins, and Chris Resop – they all sound a little funny.

They could have Jemile Weeks in AAA, Conner Crumbliss in AA, B.A. Vollmuth on the high A team, and Chih Fang Pan in the next level below that.


Seattle Mariners:

Of the starters, certainly Kendrys (Morales) has the most unusual first name and Kelly Shoppach gets my award for the most unusual last name. Charlie Furbush and Lucas Luetge head the whacky bullpen names. The Angels have Trout, but the Mariners have Carp. Both are Mikes.

Hector is Noesi. His mates in Tacoma last year included Catricula, Truinfel, Bantz, and Chance Ruffin. If you know French, the farm system has a Jesus Sucre (Jesus Sugar) and a Bobby LaFromboise (which is almost Bobby the Raspberry ). Tacoma even has one pitcher whose name is poetry: Forrest Snow.


Texas Rangers:

If Yu Darvish doesn’t win some sort of name award, how about Tanner Scheppers?

Coty Woods could make the team.

Jurickson Profar could make the team and be a star.

This org also has: Zach Zeneski, Nicholas Tepesch, Wilmer Font, Yonata Ortega, Lisalverto Bonilla (Don’t call him Lisa for short.), Tyler Tufts (It’s my alma-mater.), Evan Meek (who shall inherit the runners), Joey Gallo (I assume he’s not a mobster.), Hanser Alberto, Odubel Herrera, and, an odd name favorite: Rougned Odor. Those last two are Venezuelan. That confirms it; the weirder the name the better for those zany Venezuelans.

John Carter