I mentioned this in the recaps this morning, bit it’s worth its own mention: we have reached Peak Brandon in Major League Baseball.
I’ve been meaning to look at this all season, having noticed that the Giants are fat with Brandons, complete with the Belt, Crawford and Hicks models. If Brandon Wood hadn’t been a major league bust the Giants coulda traded for him and had the elusive all-Brandon infield. So close.
But it’s not just the Giants. I went to Baseball-Reference.com and counted 41 Brandons who have played major league baseball (I didn’t count guys with Brandon as a middle name who showed up). Twenty-two of them are currently active. Another 15 of them were active no later than 2004. That’s in the entire history of Major League Baseball.
Probably also worth noting that we’re at Peak C.J. too, as five C.J.s have played major league baseball in its history, with four of them currently active (and one, Nitkowski, broadcasting). Two of them play for the Angels (Wilson and Cron).
I’m sure this is all tied up in the general popularity of names, which means we’ll likely have a lot of Aidens playing baseball in a decade or two. But I do find it rather fun. As do the Giants, who are having fun with it this weekend:
Oh, and if you’re curious.
(thanks to Jen for the heads up on the All-Brandon Weekend)
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.