Last week, ESPN producer Patrick Truby asked on Twitter: Who is the “coolest” person in baseball? That’s the sort of question during these sad days without live Major League Baseball that gets our engines motoring over here. That’ll continue to fill the days.
So, today, we take a look at each team’s “coolest” player. That is, of course, a vague concept, “cooler,” so we’ll just give you our definition of it: When an 8-year-old is pretending to be his favorite player on his favorite team out on the diamond, which player is he pretending to be? That’s how we’ll define it. And here are our picks.
AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST
Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B
An easy pick, and it’s doubly impressive because his dad was one of baseball’s coolest players, too. And dads usually aren’t very cool!
Orioles: Trey Mancini, OF
I’m not sure there’s anyone more impressive in baseball than Trey Mancini right now.
Rays: Blake Snell, LHP
There was a time when being a video game enthusiast would get you branded as uncool, but those days are long, long in the past.
Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts, SS
Not only is he a joyous presence to have around, but come on, his name is “Xander.”
Yankees: Aaron Judge, RF
Giancarlo Stanton is another great pick here, and it’s actually sort of remarkable how many cool players the Yankees have. This was once thought of as a stick-in-the-mud team.
AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL
Indians: José Ramirez, 3B
Francisco Lindor is also an obvious candidate, but Ramirez has a comfort in his own skin that’s difficult to overlook.
Royals: Jorge Soler, RF
Sometimes, quiet is cool. And hitting 48 homers without hardly anyone noticing at all is definitely both quiet and cool.
Tigers: Niko Goodrum, UTIL
The Tigers may be rebuilding, but Goodrum is always worth watching.
Twins: Byron Buxton, CF
If only we could convince him that “staying healthy” is in fact the coolest thing of all.
White Sox: Tim Anderson, SS
Did you see when Anderson did the lineups for teammate Lucas Giolito’s team in the MLB The Show Players League final? He should be the public address announcer for all teams, and also maybe the broadcaster.
AMERICAN LEAGUE WEST
Angels: Mike Trout, CF
Could he be a little more forward facing? Spend more time on the talk-show circuit? Maybe. But nobody this good at everything is also not pretty cool.
Astros: Yordan Alvarez, DH
He's homegrown, he had an absolutely historic rookie season and he wasn't around in 2017 or '18, so you can't yell at him about … you know, all that.
A's: Jesús Luzardo, LHP
Sort of feels like we’re all going to be moving our schedules around to make sure we don’t miss this guy for many years to come.
Mariners: Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
If you don’t think that Vogelbach transcends classification enough to elevate to another, absurd level of cool, maybe we can’t be friends. Ogre cool!
Rangers: Joey Gallo, OF
He was a blast to watch during the MLB The Show Players League, and I’ll never get over watching him hit in a construction zone.
NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST
Braves: Ronald Acuña Jr., OF
As a general rule, the more a player irritates your grandfather, the cooler he is. A pro tip!
Marlins: Jordan Yamamoto, RHP
Ask the Cespedes Family BBQ guys about Yamamoto. This is someone we should all be cheering for to fully establish himself in the Majors.
Mets: Pete Alonso, 1B
It hasn’t been a long time since there has been a cool Met, but it has been a long time since someone thought it was cool because he’s a Met.
Nationals: Juan Soto, LF
Soto is somehow cool while standing in a batter’s box but not swinging.
Phillies: Andrew McCutchen, OF
The Phillies have not truly been able to be blessed with the giddiness of an Andrew McCutchen full season, but eventually they will. He’s even cool in the World Baseball Classic.
NATIONAL LEAGUE CENTRAL
Brewers: Christian Yelich, OF
There’s no reason to complicate this. Though how cool you think Yelich is may depend on how cool you think Pete Davidson is.
Cardinals: Kolten Wong, 2B
A team that’s not exactly known for its hipness has a firecracker of a second baseman in Wong. He somehow makes playing second base look cool.
Cubs: Javier Báez, SS
A strong argument that he is the coolest player in the game. If an alien came to Earth and you needed to explain to them why baseball is so fun, having them watch Báez play a game would be an excellent place to start.
Pirates: Josh Bell, 3B
For the first half of last season, Bell looked like he was going to be the next cool Pirates superstar. There’s still time.
Reds: Joey Votto, 1B
As he’s gotten older, Votto has taken on an undeniable cool dad vibe.
NATIONAL LEAGUE WEST
D-backs: Starling Marte, OF
The newest addition instantly gives the D-backs, somehow, two cool Martes.
Dodgers: Cody Bellinger, OF/1B
More players to choose from than you might think from an old-school franchise like this, but Bellinger’s not a difficult pick here. Gets an edge over Mookie Betts because Betts has yet to play a game for Los Angeles.
Giants: Mike Yastrzemski, OF
I hope no Giants fans will be offended that this was probably the most difficult team to find someone on in all of baseball.
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr., SS
There are a lot of candidates on the Padres, but there really isn’t much of a competition here, all told.
Rockies: Nolan Arenado, 3B
He remains the jewel of this franchise, the most marketable and purely joyous asset it has, and has had, for several years now.