With perhaps the exception of soccer, no other professional sports league has sexier players than Major League Baseball. NFL players are largely obese, over-muscled and brain addled from concussions (quarterbacks are the exception); NBA players are freakishly tall and look silly in their baggy shorts; and the NHL teams are full of players with missing teeth and "ice rage" issues. Granted, there's not a whole lot of running, jumping, or tackling involved in baseball. Still, the players look great standing around posing in their snug stretch pants that hug their groin, thighs, biceps and calves. And while they stand at home plate or out in the field waiting for next pitch it gives us fans time to ogle them as they play with their bat, adjust their cup, or stretch teasingly. Isn't this what fantasy baseball is all about? (Pictured to the right is the Cubs' Javier Baez.)
Out of the 750 or so players on active rosters of Major League Baseball's 30 teams, here, in no particular order, are eighteen of the players I most enjoy seeing appear my TV screen (vital statistics as of May 2019):
JOSE ALTUVE/Houston Astros
> 29 years old/5'6"/165 lbs.
Like we do with a puppy, everyone wants to scoop this little guy up in their arms. At just 5'6" his teammates tower over him but his energetic play has endeared him to Astros fans. And he's an All-Star caliber player, winning the American League batting title in 2014, 2016 and 2017. After the Astros won the World Series in 2017 he became even more famous when a scowl on his face was captured as he stood behind the president during a visit to the White House.
GLEYBER TORRES/New York Yankees
> 22 years old/6'1"/200 lbs.
The youngest player in this revue, Torres reminds me of a taller version of Jose Altuve - and they're both from Venezuela.
KEVIN KIERMAIER/Tampa Bay Rays
> 29 years old/6'1"/2105 lbs.
He has eyes like jewels, and that's all I've got to say.
GIANCARLO STANTON/New York Yankees
> 29 years old/6'6"/245 lbs.
This strapping superstar's sex appeal increased tenfold when, at the start of the 2013 season, he chose to be called by his given first name, Giancarlo. And then his ogle-worthiness exploded that summer when he appeared in ESPN Magazine's fifth annual "Body Issue". Then in the fall of 2014 his team signed him to a 13-year-contract worth $325 million. Unfortunately, he's become more known for being injured than for his output.
LANCE MCCULLERS, JR./ Houston Astros
> 25 years old/6'2"/205 lbs.
Pitcher for the Houston Astros. In Nov. 2018 he underwent Tommy John surgery and is out for the 2019 season.
YOAN MONCADA/ Chicago White Sox
> 24 years old/6'2"/205 lbs.
Born in Cuba, he came to the US in 2014.
DANSBY SWANSON/ Atlanta Braves
> 25 years old/ 6'1"/ 190 lbs.
One of the best names in baseball, Swanson's name brings to mind a character from The Great Gatsby.
IAN DESMOND/Colorado Rockies
> 33 years old/6'3"/220 lbs.
Sexy in a brooding way, Desmond is one of those players who's never quite played to his full potential.
RANDAL GRICHUK/Toronto Blue Jays
> 27 years old/6'2"/213 lbs.
Somewhat reminds me of David Wright of the Mets.
ENRIQUE (KIKI) HERNANDEZ/LA DODGERS
> 27 years old/5'11"/192 lbs.
Hernandez is in the adorable puppy-dog phase of his career, i.e., full of smiles and energy. His doppelganger is singer Michael Buble.
WHIT MERRIFIELD/KC Royals
> 30 years old/6'/195 lbs.
With a struggling team like the Royals it's players like Merrifield that give fans a reason to come out to the ballpark.
ALBERT PUJOLS/LA Angels
> 39 years old/6'3"/235 lbs.
A slab of 100% pure Dominican beef with a mighty bat. Three MVP Awards and two World Series rings got him a 10-year, $254 million contract from his new team, the Angels. He didn't really produce but in 2017 he did hit his 600th HR. Ay papi indeed!
SERGIO ROMO/Tampa Bay
> 36 years old/5'11"/185 lbs.
Romo may look like he stepped out of an Al Qaeda hideout in Afghanistan but he's actually a fun-loving Mexican American. As a relief pitcher for the Giants he collected three World Series rings in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
ERIC HOSMER/San Diego Padres
> 29 years old/6'4"/225 lbs.
In my mind he resembles a cross between the Yankees Jacoby Ellsbury and actor Ben Affleck. He first came to my attention during the 2014 World Series when his team, the KC Royals, played the Giants. The following season the Royals returned to the World Series and beat the Mets.
MATT KEMP/Cincinnati Reds
> 34 years old/6'4"/225 lbs.
Kemp is in serious competition with Giancarlo Stanton for title of alpha stud. Compared to the other players on this list, he easily had the most enticing pics to consider, making for a deliciously agonizing decision. This former Dodger's little black book may be as filled as that of Derek Jeter (e.g. Rihanna, Eva Longoria) - and he's 10 years Jeter's junior.
NICK MARKAKIS/Atlanta Braves
> 35 years old/6'1"/210 lbs.
One of the few players of Greek heritage, I'd love to see him in a toga debating with Socrates at the Acropolis as much as kneeling in the on-deck circle at Camden Yards.
RYAN BRAUN/Milwaukee Brewers
> 35 years old/6'2"/205 lbs.
One of baseball's few Jewish ballplayers, his nickname is the "Hebrew Hammer". He was one of the players whose stellar MVP-caliber career was blackened due to his lying about his use of PE drugs, but he's managed to persevere and maintain somewhat of a fan base.
JOSE BAUTISTA/(Not signed, Free Agent)
> 38 years old/6'/205 lbs.
If you didn't know his name you might think Bautista is of Israeli heritage, but like Albert Pujols he's from the Dominican Republic. He made his name with the Toronto Blue Jays as a home run hitter.
SEAN RODRIGUEZ/Philadelphia Phillies
> 34 years old/6'/200 lbs.
With a career batting average of only .227 he won't be getting inducted into Baseball's Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, but this Irish/Cuban hottie is batting 1.000 in the eye-candy department. When he was with Tampa Bay he had the look of a young pup, but after he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates he grew his hair long like Samson.
And here are some others who appeared in earlier editions of this post who have since retired or are on the long-term disabled list ...
- DAVID WRIGHT/NY Mets (36 years old/6'0") - He's like a little puppy dog, i.e., always smiling and eager to please. His appeal is enhanced further by the fact that he's an All Star caliber player. Not surprisingly, he was the Mets' "golden" boy, but now he's been on the disabled list for the past two seasons and may never return to the "active" roster.
- JOE MAUER (36 y.o./6'5"). For me, Joe's All-American good looks bring to mind the character Joe Boyd, the ball player in the movie, and Broadway musical, Damn Yankees. In addition to playing baseball Mauer was also a TV pitchman for Head and Shoulders shampoo. He spent his entire 15-year career with the Minnesota Twins; he retired after the 2018 season.
- ICHIRO SUZUKI (45 y.o./5'11") - Somewhat like Toyota, Ichiro is the Japanese import who has had the greatest success in the US, becoming one of the greatest hitters of all time. He ended his career back in Seattle, the team he made his name with at the beginning of the century before going to the Yankees and then Miami.
- BRAD AUSMUS, former manager of the Tigers from 2014-17 merits a place on this honor roll. Now 50 years old, he gave most of the players a run for their money in the beefcake department. Before being named manager of the Tigers he managed Israel's national baseball team. Besides a body, he's also has a degree from Dartmouth.
- JACOBY ELLSBURY (35 years old/6'1") - The half-Navajo Ellsbury is one of the few ball players, as last year's World Series could attest, whose close cropped beard added to his sex appeal. However, now that he's with the Yankees there will be no more facial hair.
- CARLOS BELTRAN (42 years old/6'1") - First, I've always had a weakness for the name Carlos. Second, I think he may have the sexiest mouth of any ballplayer. And although he's not of Cuban heritage, he has a vague resemblance to a young Desi Arnaz.
- CARLOS PENA/Last played in 2014 - Like Albert Pujols, Pena is big-batted Dominican known for hitting home runs. However, as his career winds down, Pena's strikeouts have become his defining feature. But he'd never have any trouble getting to first base with me.
- ANDY PETTITTE/Last played in 2013 - Along with Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera, Pettitte was a big favorite among Yankees fans. And even as his hair grayed he maintained his boyish enthusiasm.
- JOHNNY DAMON/Last played in 2012 - Whether sporting the caveman look when he played with the Red Sox or clean cut after he was traded to the Yankees, Damon is adorable. He and a few of his Red Sox teammates appeared on an episode of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy back in 2004. Without his beard and long hair Damon bears a striking resemblance to Republican senator Marco Rubio (they're just a few years apart in age and both live in Florida).
- GRADY SIZEMORE/Last played in 2015. - Was definitely was a cool drink of water. After spending two years mostly on the disabled list, he was traded from the backwater of Cleveland to the Red Sox, but never got a chance to play and his career as an active player ended
- ANGEL PAGAN/Last played in 2016. Although he wasn't considered a superstar in terms of his baseball skills (but he was still an excellent player), he's in the elite class of sexy players. And Angel is a perfect name.
- CJ WILSON/last played, as an LA Angel, in 2015 - A pitcher who looked like he came from the same gene pool as the Indians' Grady Sizemore and Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.