Let's break down this year's crop of Players' Weekend nicknames by category
Last year, we broke down all the Players' Weekend nicknames by category. This year, there are a lot of new selections, so we're ready to do it all over again. We broke the nicknames into 15 categories and sorted them accordingly. Nicknames include players, coaches, staff and anyone else who puts on a Players' Weekend jersey of any sort.
This year, we've replaced the category "Only You Call Yourself That" with "Tribute" to account for everyone who chose a nickname that pays tribute to a hometown, friend or family member.
Ready for the chart?
Classic covers anyone who simply kept their own last name, like Aaron Judge or Joe Mauer. Classic Lite is for those who went with a shortened version of their name, like "Schwarbs" (that's Kyle Schwarber), or just a first name, like "Matt" (that's Matt Kemp). If you used a nickname that you're commonly known by, like "Mookie" or "Buster," that's also Classic Lite. Since last year, Classic and Classic Lite nicknames have decreased from 40.7 percent of the total to 35.1 percent.
Another easy way to nickname-ify yourself is just to add a "y" sound to it. That's the -Y category, and it includes "Chappy" (Matt Chapman), "Nunie" (Eduardo Nunez) and "Dilly" (Dilson Herrera). Initial Offering is also fairly simple - see "JZ" (Jordan Zimmermann) or "KB" (Kris Bryant). Or you could choose the Lone Hyphen. This includes "A-Breg" (Alex Bregman) and "J-Up" (Justin Upton) as well as "P-Vitty" (Pat Venditte) and "Lomo" (Logan Morrison). Even though Morrison's jersey doesn't have an actual hyphen on it, it's conceptually part of the category.
The Menagerie is for animal-based nicknames, like "Torito" (Odubel Herrera, whose nickname translates to "Little Bull") or "Buffalo" (Wilson Ramos). Food is for nicknames that make you kind of hungry, like "Cookie" (Carlos Carrasco) or "Chicken Strip" (Ross Stripling).
Now, we know Stripling's nickname could very well have been in another category -- Puns (85 names). This category includes "Hardy Boy" (Blaine Hardy) and another food-based pun: "Pico de Gallo" (Joey Gallo).
Some nicknames go big or go home. We named that category "Big" Something because we are extremely creative. In it, you'll find "Big Fudge" (Jake Marisnick) and "Big Fella" (Rhys Hoskins). Looking for a nickname that's just a Solid Joke? Look no further than Hoskins' teammate Tommy Hunter, who went with "Bigger Fella," presumably just to needle his fellow Philly. Brandon Guyer's is one you have to think about a bit before you get to the laugh -- it's "La Piñata" … because he gets hit by a lot of pitches.
Some names are just Descriptive, like "Redbeard" (Colin Moran), or "Lefthander" (Jon Lester). Some are playing Rhyme Time, like "Slick Nick" Ahmed or Jake "Snake" Arrieta. Quite a few this year belong in the Tribute category, like Bartolo Colon's. He's going by "Morales" for the weekend, which was his late mother's last name.
The category that's seen the most growth this year is Get Hyped. Perhaps the most iconic example of this is "El Mago," aka Javier Baez. Also included: "Nightmare," (Felipe Vazquez), "Monster" (Hyun-Jin Ryu) and "La Makina" (Jose Berrios).
Of course, there will always be some nicknames that deserve their own categories. This year, two in particular stand out. Joey Votto will wear "In Flanders Fields" on the back of his jersey, which is the title of a famous World War I memorial poem by Canadian doctor John McCrae. Brad Boxberger will make history with the first-ever emoji nickname -- it's just a box and a burger: