All Two-First-Names Team


As someone who has chosen to watch the Astros, I’ve subjected myself to watching a lot of Brett Wallace. This does not bring joy into my life. I find this odd since I always have had a proclivity to players that have last names that could also be first names. I can’t explain this penchant, so don’t ask. I just do. Back off, OK?

To curb my Brett-Wallace induced depression, I did some research to create the all-first-name team, based on FanGraphs WAR. The following were the fruits of the search:

C – Russell Martin (3.9, 3rd among catchers)
1B – Allen Craig (2.3, 9th)
2B – Darwin Barney (0.4, 15th)
SS – Ian Desmond (4.2 ,1st)
3B – Ed Lucas (0.5, 25th)*
OF –¬† Austin Jackson, (2.8, 17th), Alex Gordon (2.5, 23rd), Jay Bruce (2.5, 24th)
SP – Matt Harvey (5.7, 1st), Cliff Lee (3.1, 19th), Lance Lynn (2.7, 28th)
RP – Addison Reed (1.8, 5th), Joe Nathan (1.6, 12th)

*= As there were no candidates among qualified batters, I had to set a 200 PA minimum to find a third baseman.

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David G. Temple is the Managing Editor of TechGraphs and a contributor to FanGraphs, NotGraphs and The Hardball Times. He hosts the award-eligible podcast Stealing Home. Dayn Perry once called him a "Bible Made of Lasers." Follow him on Twitter @davidgtemple.

22 Responses to “All Two-First-Names Team”

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  1. Beltre Peterson says:

    Beltre is a common latino first name, so Adrian Beltre would have worked as well. Yes,I’m kidding.

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  2. Abel says:

    Thank you for not including Lorenzo Cain (2.7 WAR) from this list.

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  3. harpago17 says:

    Even though he’s having a bad season, Jason Heyward and his 2.7 WAR deserve a spot in that OF.

    Yes, Heyward is a first name. Commonly shortened to Ward.

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  4. JayT says:

    I’m not sure Darwin Barney should count. Sure, Barney is definitely a first name, but just because his name is Darwin, I don’t think that makes it a first name!

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    • harpago17 says:

      Especially when Neil Walker and his 2.2 WAR are available. Walker is at least as much a first name as Darwin.

      Also, at 3b, Todd Frazier should qualify. If it’s a good enough name for Kelsey Grammer (who I’d argue has no first names), it’s good enough for this list!

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  5. Tim says:

    Darwin is not a first name.

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  6. harpago17 says:

    How did you pass up Chris Davis?

    I have to stop going back and checking for other names. This list is a mockery!

    +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • R says:

      I went to elementary school with a kid with the first name Davis. It may not be super common but it’s definitely a first name.

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  7. Tim says:

    How about an all-time team?

    Catcher: Gary Carter (Backup: Elston Howard)

    First base is hard. By WAR it should be Roger Connor, but he played in the nineteenth century and Connor is a dumb name. Next is Pete Rose, who might not be eligible. And I prefer Frank Thomas anyway. They can fight it out, and Frank is obviously going to win though he probably has bite marks. (Backup: Dick Allen, who could probably take all of them together.)

    Second base: Joe Morgan. (Backup: Willie Randolph.)

    Third base: George Brett. Eddie Mathews is denied because this isn’t the three first names team. (Backup: Bob Elliott.)

    Shortstop: Boy, SS is shallow. Two nineteenth century guys nobody’s ever heard of: Bobby Wallace and John Ward. Then there’s Johnny Logan and Bill Russell, not exactly stellar. If we wanted to have a modern token player here we’d have to resort to Desmond or Stephen Drew. Can I just have Dick Allen do it?

    Left field: There’s nobody good here, so we’re going to make Babe Ruth switch sides. (Backup: Johnny Damon. Seriously.)

    Center field: I guess I can’t claim Ken Griffey Jr. on the grounds that Junior is a first name. So we’re going to end up with his replacement: Mike Cameron. (Backup: Fred Lynn. Yes, Mike Cameron has more WAR than Fred Lynn.)

    Right field: Hank Aaron. We had to cheat to get him here, but like I’m leaving the sixth-best player by WAR out of the lineup for Johnny friggin’ Damon. (Backup: Reggie Jackson, who transcends the dumb-name rule. Besides, the next guys up are named Walker, Jackson, Dawson, and Clark, so we’re kinda stuck with it.)

    DH: Eddie Murray (Backup: we don’t need a stinking backup DH.)

    Starting five: Nolan Ryan, Gaylord Perry, Tommy John, Jack Quinn, Dutch Leonard.

    Bullpen: Hoyt Wilhelm, Joe Nathan, Bob Stanley, Tom Gordon, Duane Ward, Mike Marshall.

    Manager: I’m too bored to look through them all so I’m just going to give it to Tom Kelly. (Rumor has it this is the same decision-making process used by the Twins.)

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  8. lonndoggie says:

    Tony Gwynn. My son’s soccer coach’s first name is Gwynn (he’s from Wales, but still).

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  9. At least you don’t have three girls names.

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  10. _C1V says:

    Xavier Paul, without the merits of WAR, should make the list solely on the fact that if you read his last name followed by first name, you get Paul Xavier. I enjoy how the name works both ways.

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  11. Financial Aid says:

    No Dick Dick?

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  12. Turkeyproof says:

    What about Jeff Manship?

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  13. Bryce Harper says:

    how about bryce harper?

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  14. siggian says:

    Brett Cecil would be a fine lefty out of the pen for this team.

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  15. Babe Ruth says:

    Try having 2 women’s first names and then come talking….

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  16. davecarlton412 says:

    Manager: Bob Melvin??

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  17. rustydude says:

    Shouldn’t there be a Rondon on this team? That’s two first names in a single last name!

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. gcm says:

    Jackson may be a popular surname used as a first name, but it is not itself a first name.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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