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Stryker, Sicnarf ahead in 'Madness'08/19/2013 2:06 PM ET
By Danny Wild / MiLB.com
He's not only the D-backs' top-ranked catching prospect, he's also No. 1 in the hearts of Minor League fans. At least so far.
That would be Stryker Trahan, the 19-year-old Missoula backstop who currently owns the top spot among the field of 75 Moniker Madness contestants after a week of voting. Trahan owns the slimmest of leads over No. 2 Sicnarf Loopstok and No. 3 Giuseppe Papaccio -- the trio of Minor Leaguers are out in front of the rest of the contenders to date.
For those new to the game, Moniker Madness is an annual voting contest in which fans pick the best name in Minor League Baseball. Voting this year is set up slightly differently from previous bracket-style contests, giving fans a quick and entertaining way to compare names, pick sides and vote for their favorites. The 2013 Moniker Madness Champion will be announced Thursday, Aug. 29.
Due to the variety of names and the voting style, the contest is extremely tight. Fans can check out a live-updating leaderboard and help campaign for their favorite players.
Other current top-10 contenders include Inland Empire catcher Anthony Bemboom (Angels), Norfolk third baseman Zelous Wheeler (Orioles), Brevard County righty Damien Magnifico (Brewers), annual favorite and Tacoma right-hander Forrest Snow (Mariners), Bowling Green lefty Stone Speer and the uniquely and gloriously named Hillsboro southpaw, Jose Jose (D-backs).
Kannapolis right-hander Storm Throne, whose name is literally a combination of George R.R. Martin's A Game of Thrones book titles, currently ranks No. 5 and, if all goes well, will have the throne all to himself by Aug. 29.
It's difficult to spot trends, though -- Torsten Boss ranks No. 16 while Boss Moanaroa is at No. 27. The aforementioned Forrest Snow is a top-10 name right now, while Forrestt Allday fights all day (and night) to remain in the top-20 at No. 18.
Boss has received some local publicuty in Delmarva, where he plays for the Shorebirds.
"It is cool to get your name out there and stuff," Boss told Delmarva Now . "When I was in the Draft, they kind of did the same thing, and Torsten is a unique name. My dad's name is Torsten, too, so I am the second. It's German. My dad is probably getting a kick out of it, too. I saw my mom on Facebook telling all her friends. I'm just worried about baseball right now, finishing strong."
Two of this year's contestants, Zack Granite and Papaccio, are Seton Hall products, and the university did its part to spread the word. The Missoulian touched upon Trahan's campaign, noting he "has a chance to make a name for himself."
Earlier last week, CBS Sports highlighted three players -- Rougned Odor, Sicnarf Loopstok and Storm Throne -- as being above the rest.
Loopstok, an Aruba native who speaks five languages, has one of this season's most interesting names -- his first name is "Francis" spelled backwards.
Continue to look at the leaderboard, players with long, hyphenated roll-off-the-tongue names (we're looking at you, Will Piwnica-Worms, Kawika Emsley-Pai, Yogey Perez-Ramos and Kenneth Peoples-Walls) seem to be all over the map, with Kawika-Worms at No. 11 but Peoples-Walls down to No. 56.
Those with difficult-to-pronounce names like Dimitri Papantonopoulos and Dovydas Neverauskas? They're doing pretty well so far, both currently in the top-20. Those with fun names to say aloud, like Bijan Rademacher (No. 31), Luis Domoromo (No. 70) or Jason Leblebijian (No. 61) need some help.
And it's been a disappointing showing for Dionis Hinojosa, who -- and somebody has to be there -- is currently holding down last place at No. 75.
So can Stryker Trahan hang on, or should he be worried about Skyler Stromsmoe, Sammie Starr, Stolmy Pimentel and Socrates Brito? Why are fans not showing love to No. 67 Jeyckol De Leon or No. 69 Jett Bandy? And again, there's a player whose name is literally "Jose Jose."
Please continue voting and celebrating these uniquely named and very talented Minor Leaguers.