Minor League Baseball has two purposes: to develop MLB prospects and be a fantastic environment for baseball fans. Often, they do a great job at both. Where MiLB goes above and beyond is its creative names. Minor League Baseball team names and mascots are some of the most unique and creative in all of sport.
Taking a look at the best Minor League Baseball team names is a task in itself, so we will only consider teams who are officially MiLB and not Independent. Sorry, Savannah Bananas and Florence Y’alls. The quirky nature of MiLB names and mascots is what makes it so enjoyable for local fans all over the country. In addition, of course, to getting to see tomorrow’s superstars.
The 30 Best Minor League Baseball Team Names (21-30)
Honorable Mention: Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, Montgomery Biscuits, Omaha Storm Chasers, Quad Cities River Bandits, Tennesee Smokies, Lehigh Valley IronPigs
30. El Paso Chihuahuas
MLB Affiliate: San Diego Padres (AAA)
Kicking off play in 2014, the El Paso Chihuahuas are one of the many animal-inspired names on this list. Fans in the area chose the Chihuahua name over Aardvarks, Buckaroos, Desert Gators, and Sun Dogs. The logo, of course, is a grizzled-looking Chihuahua dog as the name could be considered a double entendre because El Paso is located within the Chihuahuan Desert region.
In their history, the Chihuahuas have only ever been affiliated with the Padres. El Paso plays ball in the Pacific Coast League and has every year since inception, save for 2020 (COVID-19), and 2021 (Triple-A West…which was just another name for the PCL).
29. Augusta Green Jackets
MLB Affiliate: Atlanta Braves (A)
On the surface, “Green Jackets” seems about as tame as Iowa Cubs or Syracuse Mets, but when you really think about it, it’s incredibly clever.
The logo may have a green wasp, but it’s deeper than that. The Augusta Green Jackets play ball in North Augusta, South Carolina. North Augusta is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area. Why is that important? The Masters is played in Augusta. What does that winner of The Masters receive? A green jacket.
The current iteration of the team has been playing ball since 1994 and has been the Single-A/Low-A/Class-A affiliate of six different MLB clubs. The Braves are their MLB club heading into the third year and was part of the San Francisco Giants system from 2004-2020 before that.
28. Bowling Green Hot Rods
MLB Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays (High-A)
The two-time defending South Atlantic League champions check in with the 28th-best Minor League Baseball team name and it’s for good reason. If any team is going to co-op one of the new Pokemon from the Scarlet and Violet games, it’d be this Hot Rods team. Imagine using Varoom and Revavroom in Bowling Green Hot Rods colors.
After starting off in Wilmington, North Carolina in Single-A, the team moved around a few times and changed the name. Once they settled in Bowling Green, they became the affiliate of the Rays. After MLB jumbled up MiLB in 2020, Bowling Green was re-invited to the Rays system but was upped to the High-A classification. They promptly won back-to-back SAL championships.
27. Chattanooga Lookouts
MLB Affiliate: Cincinnati Reds (AA)
The Lookouts are one of the more unique Minor League Baseball team names and their logo is just as neat. It’s literally just a C with the looking eyes emoji, but it’s endearing. One of the older MiLB teams, the Lookouts have quite the history.
They were founded in 1909 and were named via a fan contest. Did you know that a 17-year-old girl played for the Lookouts? In 1939, the Lookouts had an exhibition against the New York Yankees and Jackie Mitchell came in to pitch. She ended up striking out Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. Not too shabby.
The Lookouts have jumped around a bit and have been the affiliates for the Washington Senators (27 years), Philadelphia Phillies (five years, non-consecutive), Oakland A’s (two years), Cleveland Guardians (four years), Seattle Mariners (four years), Cincinnati Reds (24 years, non-consecutive), Los Angeles Dodgers (five years), and Minnesota Twins (three years). The current roster is loaded with some of the Reds top prospects, so it will be interesting to see how they fair moving forward.
26. Delmarva Shorebirds
MLB Affiliate: Baltimore Orioles (A)
In 1995, the Albany Polecats were bought and relocated to Salisbury, Maryland and renamed (by a seven-year-old) the Delmarva Shorebirds. The “shorebird” is a nod to the waterfowl of the Delmarva Peninsula. It’s also an interesting name, Delmarva. It’s taken from the three states in the region: DELaware, MARyland, VirginiA.
When it was created, the team was an affiliate of the Montreal Expos. After a year, the Shorebirds were made to be the Baltimore Orioles affiliate, as they stand today. You have to enjoy a story where a seven-year-old got to name a ball club.
25. Cedar Rapids Kernels
MLB Affiliate: Minnesota Twins (High-A)
It’s corn! Or, at least it has been since 1993. This is a team that has had its own bit of an identity crisis. Across its 116 seasons, Cedar Rapids has been the affiliate of 10 different MLB clubs and went by 13 different names before settling on “Kernels.”
What’s not to like? What else would a team located in Cedar Rapids, Iowa be named? All in all, there have been some massive names to play for the Kernels like Mike Trout, Joe Mauer, Eric Davis, Byron Buxton, Howie Kendrick, and more.
Of all of the best Minor League Baseball team names, the Kernels really POP!
24. Midland Rockhounds
MLB Affiliate: Oakland A’s (AA)
Everyone loves a good dog and the Midland Rockhounds feature just that. After taking the Cubs and Angels names when affiliated, the Rockhounds switched to their current name in 1999 when they became the AA affiliate of the A’s.
The name is a nickname for geologists and the people who designed the logo took it and ran with it. Ultimately, they played fetch with it and came back with the fantastic logo we have today of a hound in a miner’s getup. The creativity with this one is fantastic, honestly.
23. Modesto Nuts
MLB Affiliate: Seattle Mariners (A)
It’s nuts that the Nuts are so far down this list, but let’s not focus on that. Ever since 2005 when the franchise was renamed, the Nuts have had one of the most unique and quirky names in all of MiLB. Just look at the logo! That peanut has a sly grin on its face, you have to think it’s up to something.
As is the case with a number of clubs, Modesto has been passed around 10 MLB franchises and was even independent in its formative years. Of course “nuts” refer to the various nuts grown in and around the Modesto, California region. They’ve cracked the top of the leaderboard nine times for league championships.
22. Dayton Dragons
MLB Affiliate: Cincinnati Reds (High-A)
While it’s not as adventurous as other Minor League Baseball team names, you just can’t go wrong with one of the coolest mythical creatures in all of history: Dragons!
After being passed around by the Expos, Royals, and Cubs, the Dragons went by the Reds in the first year of its affiliation with Cincinnati. That was when they were in Rockford, Illinois. Then they moved to Dayton and the rest is history.
Dayton is home to Donkey from Shrek’s favorite MiLB team and it could be yours, too. What’s better than Dragons?
READ MORE: Why the Reds will win more than 65.5 games in 2023
21. Charleston RiverDogs
MLB Affiliate: Tampa Bay Rays (A)
Finally, to wrap up part one, we have another good boy. The single-A affiliate of the Rays since 2021, the RiverDogs have won their league in each of the past two seasons.
They were passed around the Royals, Padres, Rangers, and Yankees, all while having a stint with Tampa Bay back in the late 90s/early 2000s. The move to the current name was an attempt at breaking a legendary losing streak where Charleston had failed to register a winning season for 11 consecutive seasons.
A fun fact about this team is that they were the first professional baseball team to broadcast a game live on the internet way back in 1998!
Main Image: Sam Greene via Imagn Content Services, LLC