There are few things better in sports than a good nickname, but great nicknames are tough to come by. It must come naturally, but the player must also earn it. The local broadcast might have a nickname for the end of the bench guy. Nicknames that break into the national zeitgeist are not a regular occurrence. Yet they do exist, even today.
So, here's a list of the best nicknames in baseball right now. As a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan, I am contractually obligated to give an honorary mention to Big Papi, arguably the best baseball nickname of the 21st century. Arguably. Anyway, without further ado, here we go.
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Javier Baez -- El Mago
It is pretty hard to top this one. Baez is a great player (a rung below superstar, but he still signed a $140 million deal last offseason) and El Mago came about because he is a magician in the field. Sounds extremely cool, and Baez is extremely cool. Plus he got a whole song named after him as a result.
Noah Syndergaard -- Thor
Unfortunately, injuries have sapped Syndergaard of a lot of his ability that allowed him to utterly dominate opposing batters when he was coined "Thor" by the New York Mets masses. But he was a certified star when the nickname came about and is still in the league, so it counts for this list. Syndergaard looked the part of Chris Hemsworth's Thor and did appear to have other-worldly powers on the mound.
Fernando Tatis Jr. -- El Niño
A slick nickname for a slick player. Tatis hasn't played this year but we haven't forgotten his cool nickname. Very fitting for the young superstar, and reminiscent of the great Chris Farley's all-time SNL skit.
Pete Alonso -- Polar Bear
It feels like Alonso's Polar Bear nickname has faded a bit since he burst onto the MLB scene a few years ago but it still rings true. He's a big, broad player who comes across as a great guy. And he mashes homers like there's no tomorrow.
Nelson Cruz -- Boomstick
I mean, come on. That's awesome. Arguably no greater nickname for a guy who just hits deep balls over and over again. And he got a hot dog named after him!