3. Javier “El Mago” Baez: 2014 – Present
Okay, I’ll admit, I’m incredibly biased on this one, but I love this nickname. Javier Baez is a magical infielder to watch both on offense and defense, and no nickname fits him better than “El Mago (The Magician).”
At the plate, Baez is very much the definition of a free swinger, striking out 676 times and only walking 116 times in his young career. Somehow, he manages to make a lot of contact on balls outside the zone, getting infield hits or, in one instance, throwing his bat at a ball to make it go over the infielders’ heads.
Of course, that’s nothing compared to his human highlight reel level of defense. While Baez still makes his fair share of errors (14 at shortstop this year), his range and athleticism allow him to make plays on balls others may not, allowing him to make some incredible plays.
Finally, Baez’s baserunning magic tricks include fooling everyone in the stadium into thinking he’s out until the replay confirms otherwise and stealing home off of pick-off throws. For all the magic he does with his crazy swim move, he gets a ton of success from just being an aggressive player that demands your attention.
This is such a good nickname, and it certainly seems as if mystical powers beyond our control are at play when Baez does something. He does things that seem impossible.