4. Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams: 1989 – 1990.
Chicago Cubs Mitch Williams’s delivery is pretty wild. Frankly though, being called “Wild Thing” as a pitcher is probably on the shortlist of things you’d rather not be called.
If anyone had truly earned that nickname, however, it was Williams who basically fell down violently with each pitch. The craziest thing, however, is that he had a reasonably successful career in spite of it.
In 1989, Williams’s best year with the Chicago Cubs, he posted a 138 ERA+ and made his first and only All-Star appearance. He also managed to record 36 saves, good enough to garner him a tenth place finish in MVP voting and ninth in Cy Young voting.
The one issue Williams struggled with over his career, however, was a high walk rate, further contributing to his status as “Wild Thing.” He ended with a career walk rate of 7.1 per nine innings, which would be pretty dreadful if it weren’t for his 8.6 strikeouts per nine innings.
This nickname is nearly perfect in my eyes. It describes exactly how Williams pitches both from an analytical and visual standpoint while still sounding pretty cool.
Like I said earlier, it’s probably on the shortlist of things most pitchers would prefer not to be called. It’s the kind of nickname that incites less fear of being dominated and more fear of getting a ball to the ribs on accident.