It’s that time of year everybody – it’s time for everyone’s least favorite pro sports draft! While the MLB draft is far less prestigious than those of the NBA and NFL, due to its crapshoot-like nature and the fact that those drafted often don’t make an impact at the big league level for several years (if they even make it that far), it is a gold mine for funny names due to the sheer number of players drafted – around 1500 per season. With that in mind, I have chosen 10 of the best names from the early rounds of this year’s draft. Here they are – in the order in which they were drafted (earliest first):
1. Mark Appel – The Appel of everyone’s eye this draft year, somehow slipped to 8th overall in the draft. This college pitcher has all the makings of a big league ace. Batters might have trouble taking him seriously though, given his fruity last name. But fruity names haven’t stopped some ballplayers in the past. (Darryl Strawberry, anyone?)
2. Stryker Trahan – High school catcher taken 26th overall by the Diamondbacks, has an advanced bat for a high schooler. Also has an amazing, authoritative, impactful first name.
3. Keon Barnum – taken 48th overall, this high schooler could turn into a Big League bopper at first base.
4 and 5. Patrick Wisdom and Colin Wiles – these two guys were taken on consecutive picks (52 and 53 overall). Unbelievable. If they both make it two the big leagues, this wily and wise duo will turn out to be very smart picks for their respective teams.
6. Walker Weickel – taken by the Padres with the 55th pick, Weickel is a big kid (6’6”, 195) with a power arm.
7. Alec Rash – let’s hope the Phillies didn’t make a Rash decision by selecting this big high school pitcher with the 95th overall pick.
8. Kyle Twomey – This left-handed pitcher is high on projectability, but low on pronouncability. Is it “T-whoa-me” or “Too-me”? If it’s the latter, I hope he has a kid named Sockit. Here’s hoping you sock it to opposing batters, Twomey.
9. Justin Chigbogu – High school first baseman, taken by the Dodgers 146th overall. Can’t say I’ve ever met a Chigbogu before!
10. Mallex Smith – the only way a guy named Smith is getting on this list is if his first name is Mallex. “What should we name our son? Mmm…Alex? Yeah, Mallex!” I hope that was not the real reason for the name. In any case, here’s hoping this center fielder makes an impact with the Padres sooner or later.
So there you have it. Some good names are already on the draft board, and there will be many more to come. The final 35 rounds take place today.