The VORG’s List of Unique Names in Baseball History

Fans of the VORG know the topics that make the blog burn bright . . . and those fans tweet items that often end up as posts.  Such as this recent exchange:

Neal Kendrick @funbaseballfact

Xander Bogaerts is about to be the only Xander in MLB history and the only Bogaerts in MLB history. Any other unique first & last name guys?

@Bill_TPA @dianagram @HighHeatStats I thought of Shin-Soo Choo. But yeah, this has Dianagram written all over it.

So, using the Lahman Baseball Database as our guide, here are the players with unique names to have played from 1871 through 2012.  We may have missed some names due to typos or variations in spelling of names.  But this should be a reasonably complete list (note that some of these players [like Wilmer Font] will fall off this list after I add in the 2013 debuts [like Wilmer Flores], but that can wait until after the season ends):

Gibson Alba
Gair Allie
Yonder Alonso
Porfi Altamirano
Norichika Aoki
Rugger Ardizoia
Tucker Ashford
Elden Auker

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Keeping the Director of Player Personnel Busy

The Yankees have somehow managed to stay above .500 despite numerous injuries to key contributors.  They’ve already had 50 different players suit up for them in 2013, just one short of the franchise record, and we haven’t even had the September call-ups: Year W L W-L% Finish #Bat  2008 89 73 .549 3rd of 5 … Read more

One Team with Two Full-Time Sub-.200 Hitters

The Atlanta Braves are running away with the National League East.  They’re first in the league in walks and homers and second in runs scored.  This helps hide the fact that they’re running out two sub-.200 hitters practically every night. Dan Uggla is one of the two “Mendoza Line” batters, as his average has declined … Read more

Meet the new Slash, same as the old Slash

Mike Trout’s 2012 AL Rookie of the Year campaign was one for the ages.  He compiled a .326/.399/.564 line in 129 games.  The resulting .963 OPS was the 16th-highest rookie mark amongst batting title qualifiers in baseball history, and the highest since Albert Pujols’ 1.013 rookie OPS in 2001.

This season, not only is Trout not suffering a sophomore slump, he is maintaining or slightly improving upon those slash stats.  Going into Tuesday evening, he was “slashing” .329/.423/.568 for a .991 OPS.  This consistency, especially in the batting and slugging averages, got the VORG wondering what the record is for the smallest absolute difference in a player’s slash stats from season-to-season.

In order to minimize the comparisons of players with .000 (or any other “.100”) totals in a category, we restricted our universe to those players with at least 100 at-bats in each of two successive seasons.  Here are the results:

Wally Moses 1938-9: absolute difference of 2 points (1 point in OBP, 1 point in SLG):

1938 PHA .307 .369 .424
1939 PHA .307 .370 .423
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/5/2013.

Six players had an absolute difference of 4 points between seasons.  The most recent player to achieved this was Jose Guillen in his first two major league seasons:

1997 PIT .267 .300 .412
1998 PIT .267 .298 .414
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 8/6/2013.

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2013 Pi Young Award – July Update

The All-Star Break and trade deadline have passed us by, so let us see which hurlers are leading their respective leagues in the race for the annual “Pi Young Award“. First up . . . the American League/no innings requirement.  The BoSox’ Junichi Tazawa is a mere .03 away from the magic 3.14, with the … Read more

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