Introducing the Handsomeboard


David Wright sets the bar for another year.

Here at NotGraphs, we are no strangers to quantifying the absurdly subjective. And yet we never rest upon what we’ve already accomplished, no matter how extraordinary. Indeed, the cry of “Excelsior!” is an oft-uttered one around the NotGraphs offices, even as oft as “CISTULLI!!” and “Wait, we have offices?” So we have spent the winter sifting through vast reams of data, in an audacious effort to best isolate what it is that the baseball fan truly cares about. And here, with pleasure and some understandable anxiety, we present the result.

First, a brief word on methods. To begin with, we compiled approximately 21 lists, all publicly available online, claiming to identify the most handsome players in professional baseball. We then developed a scoring algorithm that accounted for the number of players on each list, as well as any ranking if applicable. The result was a list of 220 active players who scored positively on our Handsome Index (HI). These scores were summed by team to produce a Team Handsomeboard, in addition to the individual version. If you are interested in the details of this fantastically sophisticated process, please contact us and we promise to disappoint you thoroughly.

Now, the Individual Handsomeboard (top 40 only):


The power of the Index is self-evident. It should come as no surprise to find notorious heartthrob Wright leading the field by a healthy margin. A conspicuous absence is that of Barry Zito, whose return to the sport is currently questionable; a dubious presence, meanwhile, is that of Jeff Francoeur, who received an invite to Cleveland’s spring training, but is not good at baseball. Derek Jeter, of course, will be departing the Board at year’s end. With perennial All-Handsome types like these fading away, it’s encouraging to see a few young bucks like Trout and Ackley (and Matt Harvey, who’s just off the Top 40 but rapidly rising) ready to fill their shoes.

Here’s the Team Handsomeboard:


What’s startling here is how firmly the Metropolitans have entrenched themselves as the team to watch. Not content with their core of Wright and Harvey, New York acted aggressively by signing handsome Curtis Granderson and Chris Young during the offseason. This put what could be decisive distance between the Mets and division rivals Philadelphia, whose aging studs may struggle to attract a younger generation of enthusiasts.

Among other high-profile acquisitions, Cano to the Mariners instantly made Seattle a force to reckon with in the AL West, though the Angels kept pace by adding David Freese. Ian Kinsler’s lady-killing move to Detroit seized the spotlight from Joe Mauer, whom the Twins have struggled to surround with new talent, in the AL Central. But the stiffest competition — and the most intriguing storylines — are in the AL East as usual, where the Yankees are counting on Ellsbury to help close the Cano gap, while the Red Sox are staking much of their claim on an unreliable Grady Sizemore. How will it all play out?

One thing’s for certain: if you want handsome, you’ve got to pay. For those of you who may not enjoy observing attractive young men, and may doubt the relevance of these numbers to the game as a whole, I give you this chart of team payroll versus Handsome Index:


Actually, one other thing is for certain, and that’s that if your sexiest player is Paul Konerko, you’re in trouble.

Stay tuned for Version 2.0 of the Index, in which we incorporate the frequency of players’ appearance in Web fanfiction.

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21 Responses to “Introducing the Handsomeboard”

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  1. Ruben Amaro Jr. says:

    Matt – please ask Steve Staude if he can develop one of his neat correlation tools for your handsomeness data and Eno’s Beergraphs data.

    That would be the Holy Grail.

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  2. Well-Beered Englishman says:

    How is Yu Darvish not even ranked? Certain among my lady-friends long for the day when they can drop their underpants for Yu Darvish.

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  3. Stoppin and Wavin says:

    How is Chase Utley that high? As a macho, ultra-heterosexual man myself I may not be the best evaluator of handsome index, but that appears to be a computation error. Also, no Brandon McCarthy? C’mon. I may be straight but I wouldn’t kick him out of my bed either, especially after I already paid him the money.

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  4. Chaco Chicken says:

    How about ranking individual body parts of players? I’m putting Angel Pagan’s forearms in the sexy body part top 10.

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    • tz says:

      If so, then Prince Fielder should be in the Hall of Amazing for body part variance:

      – Triceps: 110th percentile – his triceps are bigger than almost anyone’s QUADriceps. The #1 reason I’d never make a fat joke to his face (besides being a chickenshit in general)

      – Gut: 0.2nd percentile – Although he still trails Bartolo Colon in this category, if Prince follows a normal gut-aging curve he should break this bar by his 33rd or 34th birthday.

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  5. The Stranger says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I’d like to see the worst-ranked players. The Uglyboard, if you will. Clearly, Randy Johnson is the all-time Ugly leader, but who’s the leading active player in Ugly?

    As a man with no great interest in Handsome, I’d at least like to console myself with the fact that there are men who, though far more talented, wealthy, and generally cromulent than myself, are nonetheless kind of weird-looking.

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  6. Jenstrom says:

    How is Posey not higher? He’s smolderingly hot AND a great player!

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  7. Billy Beane says:

    We’re not trying to sell jeans.

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  8. Jack says:

    Chris Davis’ omission from this list is glaring and unacceptable.

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  9. Stuck in a Slump says:

    Verlander’s score of .356 is nothing if not an utter disappointment, and I hate the Tigers. He’s definitely better looking than Braun. And Tulowitzki at the bottom? More disappointment.

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    • The Narrative Strikes Again says:

      Jeter is waaay past his prime on the handsomeness along with ARod.

      It’s Posey, Sizemore, Austin Jackson, Stanton, Hamels, Ackley.

      Trout and Cano too high.

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      • Stuck in a Slump says:

        This isn’t the gold glove awards, offensive performance shouldn’t be a factor!

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  10. Bob says:

    > Clearly, Randy Johnson is the all-time Ugly leader,

    No… that would be Don Mossi.

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  11. HandsomeRandyBlackLadBrad1953 says:

    There should be a handsome board for sports fans/talk show callers,in which case,Yours Truly would win in a cakewalk!!!!!!!!!!!!

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