Since elementary school, you've likely known that "aardvark" is the first word in the English dictionary. Thanks to its derivation from the Afrikaans language, the construction of a double-"a" at the start of the word is tough to beat.
Ever since the Giants drafted him back in 2003, David Aardsma has been the aardvark of baseball, comfortably residing atop an alphabetical listing of active baseball players. But on his podcast Sunday, Aardsma announced his retirement from baseball to join the Blue Jays front office as their new coordinator of player development.
Therefore, there is a new active alphabetical king of baseball. Congratulations to Fernando Abad, long may he reign!
The 32-year-old reliever is currently a free agent, opening the door for potential future volatility atop the alphabetically-sorted market. Let's take a look at the current line of succession to the crown.
Abreu is a starting pitcher in the Yankees' system, where he currently ranks as their No. 7 prospect according to MLB Pipeline. He's only 22 years old, so he could reside at or near the top of this list for a long time.
All the White Sox slugging first baseman needs to do is change his first name to move up this list.
The 23-year-old shortstop is the Nationals' No. 26 prospect. MLB Pipeline pegs his MLB ETA at some point during the 2018 season.
The flamethrowing righty ranks sixth in the Yankees' system. Having reached Triple-A in 2017, he could arrive in the Majors soon.
The second-overall pick in the 2009 Draft is a free agent after spending 2017 in the Angels system.
So, while Abad comfortably holds the coveted title of alphabetical king for now, there's a long line of young players waiting in the wings. Aardsma's retirement opens up a lot of potential volatility on this list. Stay tuned!