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Ranking The Red Sox Draft Picks . . . According To How Fun And Cool Their Names Are

What else are we going to do today?

Look, folks, there’s no baseball today. None! Zero! Zilch!

What are we supposed to do, analyze the All-Star game? That’s crazy talk; the guys who played in it last night have already forgotten what happened.

The only meaningful baseball news this week was the MLB Draft. And while I like the draft —and, in particular, the way it focuses the spotlight on parts of the baseball world that normally exist in the shadows — there’s only so much we can discuss. Until these guys step on minor league fields, we barely know anything about them.

But we what we do are their names. And names are fun. Baseball names, I would argue, are especially fun in the way they seem to exist as much in our imaginations as they do in real life.

So here you go: a ranking of the 2023 draftees of the Boston Red Sox according to how fun and cool their names are. You really don’t need any other draft analysis than this, I promise.

Tier 8: We’re Trying a little too hard here, guys.

22. Caden Rose (208, Alabama)

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAY 25 SEC Baseball Tournament - Alabama vs Auburn Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sorry, but you can’t tell me that this dude is a baseball player. Caden Rose is a charming, newly single, hunky but modest ranch owner (he took over for his recently deceased parents) who lives in a small town called Hope Valley. And after a contentious introduction in which they fought over a parking spot, he is going to absolutely steal the heart of the overworked business woman visiting from the big city. I am extremely sure of this.

21. Cade Feeney (388, North Dakota State)

Cade Feeney, on the other hand, is the bad boy of Hope Valley, the guy who hasn’t let go of high school and rules the billiards room of the Last Hope Pub down on Main Street with a tobacco-stained iron fist. Stay away from Cade Feeney.

20. Kristian Campbell (132, Georgia Tech)

Sorry, Kristian, but Roger Clemens ruined first names that weirdly start with K for the rest of us.

Tier 7: These Sure Are Some Names

19. Matt Duffy (115, Canisius)

Tampa Bay Rays v Washington Nationals
This is NOT the Matt Duffy the Red Sox just drafted. . . and therein lies the problem.
Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

Just within the last decade, there have already been two other Matt Duffys in Major League Baseball. If we put our heads together, I’m sure we can come with something that’s a bit more creative.

18. Zach Fogel (538, UConn)

Big fan of spelling this particular first name with an H instead of a K. Tough break on the last name, though, kid.

17. Robert Orloski (598, Middleton HS, Idaho)

I’m pretty sure that Bob Orloski was my grandfather’s neighbor for 30 years in leafy Raynham, Massachusetts. He sold insurance and enjoyed grilling on the weekends.

16. Justin Riemer (133, Wright State)

This name is fine.

15. CJ Weins (178, Western Kentucky)

If he pronounced his last name with a Germanic “V” instead of the Americanized “W”, he’d instantly jump two tiers. Get it done, CJ.

Tier 6: The Name From Autocorrect Hell

14. Isaac Stebens (478, Oklahoma State)

From an aural perspective, I think there’s a lot to like about Isaac Stebens. The hard C of Isaac flows quite nicely into the S of Stebens, actually. But for the next 20 years, every single time I try to type “Stebens,” autocrorrect is going to change the “b” to a “v”, launching me into an exhausting, expletive-laced tirade against modern technology. This is the fault of neither Isaac, nor his parents, but thems the breaks.

Tier 5: Now We’re getting somewhere

13. Dylan Schlaegel (508, Legacy HS, Texas)

Schlaegel is not an easy name to pair with. Just imagine how wrong things could have gone if his parents had picked something like Richard or Kevin or something? Dylan fits in here seamlessly, though.

12. Ryan Ammons (298, Clemson)

On the surface, this seems like a pretty standard name. But it has a little bit of a rhyming element to it that elevates it to the next level.

11. Kyle Teel (14, UVA)

Both the first name Kyle and the color teal are absolute icons of the 90s. Combining them into one sparkplug of a catcher as his parents did here is some inspired child-naming.

10. Blake Wehunt (268, Kennesaw State)

Sometimes I like a name that is spelled exactly the way you think it is.

Tier 4: We’re trying a little too hard here. . . but pulling it off!

9. Trennor O’Donnell (238, Ball State)

Yes, Trennor does dance a little too close to the the category of “made-up suburban soccer names.” But what saves it here is the way it smoothly flows into the last name O’Donnell.

8. Phoenix Call (226, Calabasas HS, California)

This is a name that’s so fake that I swear it comes from a Martin Amis novel. I mean, really: Phoenix Call! It’s audacious, and that’s why it works.

7. Connolly Early (151, UVA)

Phenomenal use of a last name as a first name. This is just a super fun name to say; someone please write a limerick about Connolly Early.

Tier 3: Strong, Mid-Century Detective Novel Vibes

6. Max Carlson (358, North Carolina)

Max Carlson is on the job. He’ll get to the bottom of it. . . as long as he doesn’t get to the bottom of the bottle first.

5. Stanley Tucker (568, Texas A&M)

It had been three years since Stanley Tucker solved a case. There were creditors on the phone, rivals on the streets, and ex-lovers in his dreams. And then Daisy Rivers darkened his doorway, and Stanley Tucker was given one last chance to make things right. . .

4. Nelly Taylor (328, Polk State)

Nelly Taylor knows these streets. He’s been walking them for 10 years now, slipping in and out the darkness. But what happens when the darkness is all that’s left?

Tier 2: Elite Baseball Names

3. Antonio Anderson (77, North Atlanta HS, Atlanta)

With a name like this, there was no chance Antonio was going to be anything other than a professional athlete. I don’t have time to look it up, but I’m pretty sure the name Antonio Anderson has already been used in 77% of all sports movies that have ever been made.

2. Nazzan Zanetello (50, Christian Brothers HS, St. Louis)

Admit it! You thought he was going to be number one! I did too when I first heard it called on Sunday night. It includes a palindrome! It sounds like something you buy for dessert on Hanover Street after a polishing off mediocre plate of cacio e pepe! It’s a wonderful name, it really is. It’s just not . . .

Tier 1: As Close To A Perfect Baseball Name As There Is

1. Jojo Ingrassia (418, Cal State Fullerton)

No notes. This name is so perfect that I’m pretty sure Jojo Ingrassia was already the name of a speedy backup outfielder with a decent bat but no power on the 1954 Brooklyn Dodgers. Welcome to Boston, Jojo.