Voting is under way for MiLB.com's second-annual "Minors Moniker Madness" competition. The goal of this bracket-style tournament is a noble one -- to determine the best name in all of Minor League Baseball.
Here's a comprehensive look at the first-round matchups. After all, the voting public needs to be as well-informed as possible.
The Icicle Reeder Bracket
No. 1 Al Alburquerque vs. No. 16 Baron Frost -- Can Frost withstand the formidable Alburquerque heat? It'll be a tough task, to be sure, but stranger things have happened. Regardless, here's hoping that the 21-year-old Alburquerque ends up in the Marlins organization in the near future, so that he may have the honor of suiting up for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.
No. 2 Bubbie Buzachero vs. No. 15 T.J. Large -- Large didn't live up to his name in last year's inaugural tournament, as he lost to eventual Final Four participant Ari Kafka in the first round. This season, the 21-year-old Red Sox prospect faces another large challenge, as he is slated to go up against the alluringly alliterative Bubbie Buzachero.
No. 3 Winter Polo vs. No. 14 Adam Parliament -- Both of the competitors in this matchup appeared in last year's tournament and are (presumably) anxious to do better in 2008. Polo, a 23-year-old outfielder in the Baltimore organization, defeated Callix Crabbe and Ray Liotta before succumbing to Rowdy Hardy. Parliament, meanwhile, snuck by Amadeo Zazueta, but then fell to the incomparable Doggnt Bolivar.
No. 4 Brooks Dunn vs. No. 13 Brok Butcher -- Dunn (whose middle name unfortunately does not begin with "N") defeated Brunlido Brito in the first round of last year's tournament, and this season he's taking on yet another player with the initials of B.B. Butcher, a 24-year-old pitcher in the Angels organization, succumbed to Will Startup in the opening round of the 2007 tournament.
No. 5 Rocky Roquet vs. No. 12 Marquise Liverpool -- This is a fab matchup, indeed. Here, we have a player whose name brings to mind a famous Beatles song ("Rocky Raccoon," anyone?) going up against a player with the last name of Liverpool (the Beatles' birthplace, of course). Roquet went undefeated over 50 appearances in the Cubs' farm system last season. Will his winning streak carry over into the tournament?
No. 6 Berdis Bandres vs. No. 11 Scharlon Schoop -- Here's another matchup of alliteratively named prospects. Last year, the 20-year-old Schoop defeated Rubi Koko in the first round before getting knocked out by the similarly named Seung Song. In 2008, the Curacao native will try his luck against newcomer Berdis Bandres, who made his professional debut with the Venezuelan Summer League Pirates in 2007.
No. 7 Jimmy James vs. No. 10 Will Startup -- Despite making it to the finals in 2007, Startup enters this year's tournament as a mere No. 10 seed. The 23-year-old southpaw is seeking to show that last year's performance wasn't a fluke, and his journey will begin with this matchup against Jimmy James. A Red Sox pitching prospect, James split last season between the Class A Short-Season Lowell Spinners and the Class A Greenville Drive.
No. 8 Zechry Zinicola vs. No. 9 Zelous Wheeler -- It's the battle of the Killer Z's! Zinicola, a highly regarded Nationals pitching prospect, was defeated by Noochie Varner in the first round of the 2007 tournament. Wheeler, a 21-year-old Brewers farmhand, is making his first appearance. Which Z will prevail? This is one matchup that's destined to remain competitive until the very end.