• Richie O'Reilly

Ranking the Best Personalities in Baseball

Updated: Oct 5

Baseball is in the midst of an identity crisis (and a suspended season, but this article isn’t about coronavirus for once).


As the embodiment of MLB’s “fight the man” stance, Trevor Bauer, has so kindly pointed out, the sport is struggling to market its stars in a meaningful way. Plenty of blame can certainly be attributed to the league’s restrictive content/digital media policies, but some of it honestly has more to do with the lack of effort or desire on behalf of the players themselves. When the best player to ever play your sport is a quiet, humble guy who willingly chose to stay in a widely ignored market for the rest of his career, you’re going to have some unavoidable roadblocks to getting people interested in your product.


With that said, baseball has its fair share of captivating personalities that deserve more attention in the sports media landscape. If you’re not already paying attention to these guys, you should be!


Richie O'Reilly:

1. Kike Hernandez

  • My Dodger’s bias might be coming out here a bit, but this guy is legitimately hilarious. Who amongst us hasn’t pretended to announce games from the sidelines/stands? Kike keeps it real at all times, and I love his lighthearted approach to a game that can be hyper-frustrating. This dude is hilarious!!


2. Josh Donaldson

  • This selection is also pretty personal to me. JD was the face of the major revolution in swing mechanics that began a few years back, which has truly changed the way people think about hitting. I have a ton of respect for how hard this guy works at his craft, and I love how he dresses and cuts his hair however he wants. JD is the man and a role model for young kids looking to improve their craft.


3. Marcus Stroman

  • Height Doesn’t Measure Heart! This dude may be smaller than his dad’s biceps, but he sure doesn’t act like it! When you create your own brand to fight the perception of short athletes (HDMH) and people don’t gas you for it, you know you’re doing something right. Plus, I dig Stro’s flow with Mike Stud. I miss the 2015-17 Blue Jays team, but this Mets team is pretty fun too.


4. Pete Alonso

  • I wasn’t quick to jump on the Pete Alonso bandwagon, but I’m all aboard now. This guy genuinely loves baseball (it definitely helps when you’re really good), and he shows love to his fans. The polar bear is as real as it gets, which is just another reason this Mets team is going to be a fun one to watch this year.


5. Tim Anderson

  • Tim Anderson is bringing the fun back to baseball. With massive bat flips and an eccentric personality, Tim has become one of the most important personalities in the whole MLB. We need more young players like this in the league.


Honorable Mentions

1. The Cubs (Yu Darvish, Javy Baez, Anthony Rizzo)

  • Yu Darvish’s Twitter comedy is hilariously innocent, and he always knows how to pop up at the right moments.

  • Javy Baez just drips sauce. Simple as that.

  • Anthony Rizzo just seems like a genuinely nice guy. I’ve got a lot of respect for how much he gives back after all he went through to beat cancer.

2. Sean Doolittle

  • I love that Sean Doolittle seems like he’s entirely content with being who he is. Whether it’s his podcasts about Star Wars or videos of his DIY home haircuts with his wife, I enjoy Doolittle being who he is.

3. Joey Votto

  • Joey Votto is a baseball icon and we need to protect him at all costs. He seems like an incredible dude and a douche at the same time, fully encapsulating what it means to be a big leaguer.


Freddy Benson:

1. Mike Clevinger

  • I hate the Astros. Mike Clevinger hates the Astros. Looks like we’re on the same page here. If you’re willing to openly talk about playing dodgeball with these cheaters in the batters box while you’re getting a tattoo, you’ve automatically found your way to the top of my list.


2. Pete Alonso

  • I WOULD DRINK A ZILLION, NO TWO ZILLION, BEERS WITH THIS GUY. The Polar Bear and my 2020-21 (hopefully?) Mets are going to be electric, and I’m here for every second of it.


3. Trevor Bauer

  • Trevor Bauer is a psycho, and I love it. This guy says and does whatever the hell he wants, and people love him for it. Any time you can singlehandedly pressure the league to alter its social media strategy while also organizing your own charity wiffle ball game during a quarantine, you know you’re big time. Also, this guy has accused over half of the league of cheating and has essentially created a target on his back with all pitchers. Give me some popcorn and let me watch the Reds this season.


4. Tim Anderson

  • I’m just hoping Tim Anderson throws his bat into the other team’s dugout while pimping one of his 20 homers next season. Give the people what they want.


5. Yu Darvish


Honorable Mentions:

1. Soto

  • I mean, what the hell is he doing? This has to be considered as an option.


2. Baez

3. Walker Fuckin Buehler

  • It’s in the name, people.


Alex Cosenza:

1. Masahiro Tanaka

2. Aaron Judge

  • If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m a Yankees fan. After exploding onto the scene in 2017, The Judge has done nothing but hit homeruns and serve as an outstanding example for the younger generations. This guy is the definition of humble, and he has navigated the ups and downs of being the face of the biggest franchise in baseball with class and humility. Also, he was robbed of the AL MVP in 2017!!

3. Pete Alonso

  • You can’t have a list of genuine baseball personalities without this guy these days. Pete Alonso plays the game with a vibrant passion that far outweighs the love Pilot Pete had for both Madi and Hannah Ann (I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m just saying this so my girlfriend thinks I listened to her recaps of the Bachelor). Even though he plays for the other team in New York, I’m hoping he has another excellent year at the dish.

4. Christian Yelich

  • If you’ve seen the video of Yelich tearing-up while thanking everyone who helped him become a professional baseball player, you know why he made my list. I appreciate Yeli’s authenticity, and I love his rivalry with Cody Bellinger.


5. Mike Clevinger

  • Here’s my one spicy pick on this list - Mike Clevinger. I love that the Indian’s ace is keeping it real with how mad he is about the Astros, and I hope we get to see that fire in him this season (just not against the Yanks).


Jordan Herbstman:

1. Tim Anderson

  • Tim Anderson IS the hero baseball needs. We need more energy and dynamism in the game, and that’s what TA brings to the table every day.

2. Trevor Bauer

  • Regardless of how you feel about him as a person, Trevor Bauer is good for baseball. While I may not love his aggressive stance against the league and the commissioner, I appreciate where his heart is and what he’s trying to do. And to be fair, we’ve all wanted to throw a ball into the stands out of anger, he’s just the only guy to actually do it.

3. Pete Alonso

4. Yu Darvish

  • I’m always a sucker for innocent/self-aware humor. Yu knows just the right time to jump into a conversation, and he has mastered the delicate art of self-deprecation. Yu got it, dude!

5. Freddie Freeman

  • I mean, did you see him running around the bases mic’d up?



Everyone:

The Retired Team

These guys are all Twitter ICONS. Do yourself a favor and check these guys out:


1. Brandon McCarthy 2. Dan Haren 3. Dallas Braden 4. Eric Byrnes

Major League Baseball is filled with funny characters and guys who are making the game better on and off the field. Start with these guys, but do a deep dive into the personality of big leaguers and find your favorite MLB stars. Baseball doesn’t have to be a boring game, just ask any of these guys.


Let us know who your favorite MLB personalities are on Twitter @thepop_network!

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