MLB-Inspired Baby Names

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With spring training over and opening night already in the books for several major league baseball teams, it can officially be said that baseball season is here. There is only one thing left for the team at MooseRoots to do: analyze the popularity of MLB baby names.

Some people may name their kids simply in honor of their favorite ballplayers, while others may do so in the hopes of raising a future All Star.

The MooseRoots team gathered the names of all 1,363 MLB players active in the 2016 season using PointAfter data. Then, they grouped them by first name to get the count. Given that the average ballplayer's age is 28, the team examined name frequency in 1988 to assess how popular each first name was that year relative to the general population. The list - which only includes names with at least five occurrences in MLB and at least one baby per 10,000 in the general population - is ordered by how much higher the name's frequency is among MLB players compared to the general population.

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#33. Jordan

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 1.46%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 44.02
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 43.39
MLB Player Count: 6
Notable MLB Player: Jordan Zimmermann

Since the name is derived from the Jordan River, whose water John the Baptist reportedly used to baptize Jesus Christ, it is ironic that not a single player named Jordan plays for the Angels. It is a popular name for both boys and girls, so a girl born with that name could aspire to be the first to break the MLB's gender barrier. The name peaked in popularity in the 1990s.

#32. Bradley

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 2.32%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 36.68
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 35.85
MLB Player Count: 5
Notable MLB Player: Bradley Miller

The name Bradley saw a huge spike in popularity at the end of the 1800s, just when baseball's first major leagues were beginning to take shape. Its popularity peaked in 1977, when it was the 47th most common name for American baby boys.

#31. Daniel

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 3.39%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 183.42
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 177.41
MLB Player Count: 25
Notable MLB Player: Daniel Murphy

The 10th most popular name in the U.S. in 2014, Daniel - which means "God is my judge" in Hebrew - comes from the biblical prophet who survived the lion's den. It has been popular in English-speaking countries since the 1600s, but has enjoyed a recent surge, especially in Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand and Scotland.

#30. Jeffrey

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 4.18%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 66.03
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 63.38
MLB Player Count: 9
Notable MLB Player: Jeffrey Francis

The most common spelling of the popular medieval name Geoffrey, Jeffrey was the ninth most popular name in the United States when it reached its zenith in 1996. The name has lost significant ground in the last decade.

#29. Samuel

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 5.12%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 48.86
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Samuel Deduno

Steeped in deep biblical roots, the name Samuel can be interpreted as either "He (God) has hearkened" or "asked of God." In 2014, it was the 23rd most popular name in America, with 10,859 boys receiving the name that year. It hit its lowest point in popularity in 1960, when it dipped to the 91st most popular name in the United States.

#28. David

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 5.63%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 190.76
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 180.59
MLB Player Count: 26
Notable MLB Player: David Ortiz

Consistently among the 20 most popular names in America - and in single digits every year between 1937 and 1991 - the name David comes from the story of the greatest king of all of Israel. With nothing more than a slingshot and a rock, David slayed Goliath, instilling the name with a sense of competition and triumph.

#27. Alexander

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 7.63%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 73.37
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 68.17
MLB Player Count: 10
Notable MLB Player: Alexander Claudio

Name the little slugger in your life Alexander and he's likely to be a better fielder than batter - the name means "to defend." It was the eighth most popular name in the United States in 2014, and has peaked in global popularity in recent years.

#26. Cody

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 8.45%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 58.69
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 54.12
MLB Player Count: 8
Notable MLB Player: Cody Ross

A name of Irish origin, Cody was the 24th most common name for boys born in America when it peaked in 1992, but it has been trending steeply downward in recent years. In 2014, Cody dropped all the way to No. 220.

#25. Aaron

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 9.61%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 80.70
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 73.63
MLB Player Count: 11
Notable MLB Player: Aaron Harang

Aaron refers to the brother of Moses. A popular Jewish name since the beginning of recorded time, the name entered free agency in the 16th century and became a common Christian name. In 2014, it ranked No. 50 on the list of most popular names for boys in the United States.

#24. Steven

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 12.45%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 102.71
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 91.34
MLB Player Count: 14
Notable MLB Player: Steven Matz

This phonetic spelling of the English pronunciation of Stephen, Steven started gaining popularity in the late 1930s and peaked in 1955, when it was the 10th most popular name for boys in the United States. By 2014, it had fallen to 144th place.

#23. Ryan

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 13.79%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 161.41
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 141.84
MLB Player Count: 22
Notable MLB Player: Ryan Braun

The 37th most popular name in the United States in 2014, Ryan was the single most popular name for boys in Scotland in 1998. In America, it peaked at No. 11 in 1986.

#22. Cory

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 14.46%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 36.68
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 32.05
MLB Player Count: 5
Notable MLB Player: Cory Luebke

In the U.S., Cory is just the 696th most popular name, given to just 353 boys out of the more than 2 million born in 2014. Its current status, however, is a big step up from the name's lowest point in 1941, when Cory ranked No. 3,505 in the country.

#21. Kyle

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 15.42%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 117.39
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 101.71
MLB Player Count: 16
Notable MLB Player: Kyle Lohse

This name of Scottish origin has skyrocketed in popularity in recent decades. In 2014, Kyle held the 178th position for the most popular male names in America.

#20. Jason

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 26.33%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 102.71
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 81.30
MLB Player Count: 14
Notable MLB Player: Jason Kipnis

Jason comes from a Greek mythological figure who had to endure many terrible hardships. Coming in at No. 75, it is still a wildly popular name for American boys, but a far cry from its 1974 glory days, when it was the second most popular name for boys in the U.S.

#19. Austin

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 28.42%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 36.68
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 28.57
MLB Player Count: 5
Notable MLB Player: Austin Jackson

Austin survives in the modern era as the surname of the Medieval Augustinus or Augustine. Although it was most popular in the U.S. in the 1990s - reaching its peak at No. 23 in 1996 - it is still the 66th most popular name for boys born in America.

#18. Adam

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 30.79%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 110.05
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 84.14
MLB Player Count: 15
Notable MLB Player: Adam Wainwright

The name of the original man created by God in the book of Genesis, Adam has been a popular name for boys since the 1960s. In 2014, Adam ranked No. 79 in the United States.

#17. Jacob

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 44.63%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 117.39
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 81.17
MLB Player Count: 16
Notable MLB Player: Jacob Ellsbury

Derived from the Hebrew name Yaakov, Jacob was one of the most important patriarchs in the book of Genesis. Jacob fathered 12 sons - three more than necessary to field a pro MLB team. It is an incredibly popular name in the U.S. In 2014, just three names were more popular for American boys.

#16. Tyler

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 61.27%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 110.05
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 68.24
MLB Player Count: 15
Notable MLB Player: Tyler Flowers

Tyler is most popular in the Northeast, the Deep South and Western states like Nevada and Montana. Although it only ranked as the 72nd most popular name for boys in the U.S. in 2014, Tyler is wildly popular in Northern Ireland, Belgium and Sweden.

#15. Ian

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 66.30%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 36.68
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 22.06
MLB Player Count: 5
Notable MLB Player: Ian Kinsler

The Scottish name Ian is popular throughout the English-speaking world. In 2014, it came in at No. 77 for boys born in the United States. Although it was popular throughout the '90s, Ian peaked at No. 65 in 2003.

#14. Scott

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 68.83%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 80.70
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 47.80
MLB Player Count: 11
Notable MLB Player: Scott Kazmir

Originally a name reserved for Gaelic speakers who came from Ireland, Scott is on a steep decline in the United States. From its peak as the 10th most popular boy's name in America in 1971, Scott had fallen all the way to No. 425 by 2014.

#13. Juan

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 94.37%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 26.42
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Juan Uribe

Despite the name's negative association with Tirso de Molina's Don Juan, the name breaks the top 100 in the United States, coming in at No. 98. It is by far the most popular throughout the American West and Southwest.

#12. Luis

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 132.49%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 22.09
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Luis Valbuena

Coming in at No. 99, Luis barely squeaks out double digits in the list of most popular names for American boys. The name is also very popular in Switzerland and Germany.

#11. Christian

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 155.77%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 20.08
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Christian Yelich

Meaning "follower of Christ," Christian has been popular since the Middle Ages for both genders, although variants of Christie have largely taken over for girls. As of 2014, it was the 42nd most popular name for boys in America, and has remained steadily popular in Norway, New Zealand, Iceland and Italy.

#10. Brett

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 162.37%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 58.69
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 22.37
MLB Player Count: 8
Notable MLB Player: Brett Gardner

Named for the Bretons who arrived in England following the Norman conquest, Brett has trended all the way down to No. 664 in the U.S. At its heyday in 1986, it reached No. 69 on the list.

#9. Trevor

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 171.77%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 18.90
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Trevor Plouffe

A Welsh surname for "large settlement," Trevor has gained popularity through the non-Welsh, English-speaking world. Although it is only the 276th most popular name for boys in the United States, Trevor reached the rank of 58th in 1998.

#8. Francisco

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 218.13%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 36.68
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 11.53
MLB Player Count: 5
Notable MLB Player: Francisco Rodriguez

The Spanish and Portuguese equivalent of Francis, Francisco is the 232nd most popular name in the U.S. It never broke the top 100, peaking at No. 114 in 1991.

#7. Jose

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 218.88%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 146.74
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 46.02
MLB Player Count: 20
Notable MLB Player: Jose Reyes

Among the most popular names for boys born throughout the Southwest, Jose comes in at No. 76 on the list of most popular male baby names in America. At its peak in 2004, it rose all the way to No. 28.

#6. Jorge

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 248.38%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 44.02
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 12.64
MLB Player Count: 6
Notable MLB Player: Jorge De La Rosa

The Spanish equivalent of the Greek "George," Jorge reached its peak in the United States in 1998, when it came in at No. 107 on the list of most popular names for boys. By 2014, it had trended all the way down to No. 207.

#5. Miguel

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 268.00%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 13.96
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Miguel Cabrera

Popular throughout the American Southwest and West, Miguel was the 146th most popular name for boys in the United States in 2014. It broke into double digits when it peaked at 86th in 2000.

#4. Rafael

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 461.09%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 36.68
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 6.54
MLB Player Count: 5
Notable MLB Player: Rafael Soriano

The German derivative of the archangel Raphael, Rafael reached its zenith in 1985 when it came in at No. 195 on the list of most popular names for boys born in America. By 2014, it had slipped to No. 293 and continues to trend downward.

#3. Carlos

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 491.76%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 124.72
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 21.08
MLB Player Count: 17
Notable MLB Player: Carlos Beltran

The Spanish and Portuguese form of Charles, Carlos is a steadily popular name in the United States, coming in at No. 117 on the list of most common baby names for boys. It peaked at No. 59 in 2001, and still remains incredibly popular throughout the American Southwest and West.

#2. Hector

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 506.96%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 8.46
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Hector Santiago

Named after the Trojan hero who was killed by Achilles, Hector is No. 291 on the list of most popular baby names for boys in the U.S. It graces the top 300 in England and Wales, Sweden and Scotland, as well.

#1. Pedro

Percent More Likely to Be an MLB Player: 669.28%
MLB Players per 10K This Season: 51.36
U.S. Babies per 10K in 1988: 6.68
MLB Player Count: 7
Notable MLB Player: Pedro Alvarez

Pedro, Spanish for the Greek Peter, is on a steep downward trend in the United States. In 2014, it ranked No. 354 for baby boys. It still holds enormous sway on the West Coast and in the Southwest.

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