The Definitive Ranking of All 30 IL All-Stars’ Names

In case you missed it earlier today, the International League announced its All-Stars for the 2014 Cree Triple-A All-Star Game, hosted by your Durham Bulls. So, naturally, we have decided to rank all the players by quality of name. Except the Bulls. They don’t count in the rankings because it’s our blog and we want to list them first so we’re going to.

So, how are these names going to be ranked you ask. Well, there’s not really a rubric. But we’ll be looking for some combination of fluidity (which ironically is not an easy word to say), originality and how pleasing it is to the ear. And don’t worry, we’ll also include some information on every player because that does carry some importance.

We’ll begin with the Bulls (in alphabetical order):

Wilson Betemit (.227-12-35): It is pronounced ‘BAY-tuh-mee.’ Over the years it has been pronounced every which way, and he’s never bothered to correct anyone. But in our mind, that’s a smooth-sounding last name, with a hint of originality with the first name Wilson.

Merrill Kelly (6-2, 3.16): A solid name. Two R’s and four L’s. Not ideal for those who struggle saying their Rs (like the writer of this post once did), but an easy name to cheer.

Mikie Mahtook (.316-7-47): Pronounced (MIKE-ee), you have to respect a guy that maintains his name from when he was little. Mahtook (MAH-took) can throw some people, which can be annoying when trying to broadcast one of his many extra-base hits (a league-leading 37, in case you were wondering).

Mike Montgomery (8-1, 3.28): Pretty straight up. No curveballs, no changeups, just steady. The only downside is the character count, which can get annoying for us here at the Bulls when we try to Tweet “another win for Montgomery, etc, etc.” You know, since he has eight of them.

RANKING THE REMAINING 26 PLAYERS:

26: AJ Achter – Rochester (2-2, 1.60): ACK! That’s what we think of when we pronounce this last name. It’s not a friend of the throat, creating a harsh ‘CK’ sound in the back of your throat.

25: Casey Sadler – Indianapolis (8-1, 2.10): Casey Sadler. There’s nothing wrong with this name, but there’s nothing great about it either. It’s simply just there, but it’s a name that’ll probably get thrown around in the Most Valuable Pitcher discussion when the time comes, too.

24: Phil Gosselin – Gwinnett (.320-3-21): Whenever you share the same last name as John and Kate Plus 8, you’re unfortunately handicapped. There’s nothing you can do. Now, if the last name had instead been shared with a certain movie star, let’s just say his status would’ve been bumped WAY up. Crazy, Stupid, Love anyone?

23: Chris Dickerson – Indianapolis (.315-6-27): Easy to say, but perhaps a little too standard for this list. A crazy middle name would’ve helped, but alas, it’s only Charles.

22: Bobby Korecky – Buffalo (4-1, 0.60, 10 SV): Again with the harsh ‘CK’ sound. It just isn’t great for the ears. Bobby is a solid first name though. Saved him a few slots on the list.

21: Luis Garcia – Lehigh Valley (2-0, 0.35, 15 SV): Very basic, but also pretty fun to say. A lot of vowels, but they’re well-spaced out so we’ll allow it.

20: Liam Hendriks – Buffalo (6-1, 2.13): We really don’t have any comment on this name. No rhyme or reason it is ranked where it is. Moving on…

19: Andy Oliver – Indianapolis (1-1, 2.08, 8 SV): Whenever we hear the named ‘Andy’ we think of Toy Story. And who doesn’t like Toy Story? But whenever we hear the name ‘Oliver’ we think of Oliver Twist. And who likes Oliver Twist? Conundrum.

18: Mike Hessman – Toledo (.258-15-33): Hess Trucks are awesome, therefore the last name ‘Hessman’ is awesome. The first name ‘Mike’ is made better because of the last name ‘Hessman.’

17: Dan Johnson – Buffalo (.253-16-50): Really not much in this name, but he’s a former Bull who won the league MVP award as a Bull in 2010 so he gets bumped way up.

16: Tyler Saladino Charlotte (.304-9-37): His last name makes us think of salad, and we hate salad. It may be good for you, but it’s not good. Unless you’re talking about chicken Caesar salad. That stuff is baller.

15: Felix Perez – Louisville (.302-10-48): The first name Felix is awesome. A lot of fun to say, and anything with an X in it makes it even better. Some points off for the last name since it’s popular.

14: Steven Souza Jr. – Syracuse (.358-13-49): Not many guys go by Steven, respect. Souza is fun, too. Three different vowels and a Z in there? We like it.

13: Matt Hague – Indianapolis (.271-12-56): His last name sounds like it could just go on forever. Say it. Haaaaaagggggguuuueee. It never really ends, it just fades out like a Counting Crows song.

12: Ivan De Jesus – Norfolk (.304-3-22): A strong first name. Ivan the Great, perhaps? Plus, De Jesus rolls off the tongue.

11: Roberto Perez – Columbus (.321-8-40): The name Roberto is the best, especially if you decide to roll your R like it’s intended. Any name that begins with a rolled R and ends in a Z is OK in our book.

10: Anthony Ranaudo Pawtucket (9-4, 2.35): An authentic Italian name, and no surprise since he hails from just about a half hour from the Jersey Shore. It’s an intriguing last name, but the number of characters holds it back from higher on the list.

9: Christian Vazquez – Pawtucket (.275-3-19): Two Zs in one name? Automatic top-10 pick. But, like his battery mate (Ranaudo), too many characters keeps it from an even higher ranking.

8: Jhonatan Solano – Syracuse (.268-9-40): True originality. The H after the J, ending in TAN rather than THAN. Plus, Solano is an extremely relaxing name. Serenity now.

7: Taylor Hill – Syracuse (9-2, 1.92): This name is made because of his position as a pitcher. SO many puns (King of the Hill, etc). If he was a shortstop, he’d be slotted way lower.

6: Jose Pirela – Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (.315-7-34): Pirela. Reminds us of the word Parade. And parades are fun.

5: Aaron Laffey – Syracuse (10-3, 2.93): Laffey is simply fun. The word ‘laugh’ is buried in there, and everybody likes to laugh. I mean, like Hill, puns are aplenty with Aaron (Laffey Taffy, etc).

4: Ruben Gotay – Louisville (.278-14-49): The Reuben is a delicious sandwich. Ruben is a delicious first name. Creeped out yet?

3: Jesus Aguilar – Columbus (.278-12-41): All you need to do to understand why he’s ranked third on this list is say his name out loud. Enough said.

2: Juan Jaime – Gwinnett (1-0, 2.30, 13 SV): An alliterative name that’s smooth as silk. It sounds like this could either be the super good looking good guy/bad guy in a soap opera. Especially if you whisper it.

1: Ezequiel Carrera – Toledo (.307-4-27): Every once in a while, a name hits your ears that sends your auditory senses into ecstasy. And Ezequiel Carrera does that. It’s unique, pleasing to the ear and despite the amount of characters is extremely fluid. There’s not much more to say.

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