#MLBPlayers411 | Josh Phegley aka PTBNL
For Oakland's Josh Phegley, narrowing down a nickname for Players Weekend was tough.
“I'm a guy in the clubhouse that has a lot of different nicknames,” Phegley told MLBPlayers.com. “Pretty much everyone has their own name for me. It was kind of hard to decide exactly which one I wanted to take.”
So instead of choosing one of his nicknames given to him by a teammate, the catcher went in a different direction.
“In my mind, just not having a definitive answer for the nickname reminded me of almost a ‘nickname to be named later,'” Phegley said. “I just stumbled upon ‘player to be named later.' I thought it was kind of a play on the type of player I am. I'm not well-known in the league – I'm kind of an anonymous backup catcher”
PTBNL – short for ‘player to be named later' – is a popular term thrown around by baseball executives, media members and fans alike around the trade deadline. The phrase generally describes a trade in which one team does not immediately choose what player will be sent to them in the deal.
Phegley will sport ‘PTBNL' on his jersey nameplate as his nickname for Players Weekend, occurring across baseball this Friday through Sunday. (Ed. Note: As of today, Phegley is on a rehab assignment and is not sure if he'll be back in time for Players Weekend.)
“I think it's cool,” Phegley said. “Obviously, we are extremely privileged to play in the major leagues. I think it's kind of cool to be able to put your own nickname on [the jersey] and have fun with it. It definitely puts a little twist on everyday putting your uniform on, lighten the mood up especially toward the end of August when people could really use a little break mentally. I think it's a cool concept.”
While he may have never been considered a “PTBNL,” Josh Phegley has been a coveted trade chip in recent years.
A cornerstone of the White Sox farm system after being drafted by Chicago in 2009, Phegley was one the prospects that Chicago sent to Oakland to land pitcher Jeff Samardzija at the 2014 Winter Meetings.
A native of Terre Haute, Ind., Phegley attended Indiana University, and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection in his junior year. After three years in college, he was drafted by the Chicago White Sox as a first round compensatory selection in 2009.
Through 222 games over five seasons in the majors, the 29-year-old battery mate is batting .227, with 20 home runs and 80 RBIs.
For Phegley, Players Weekend is a great opportunity to thank family members for help and support throughout his playing days. He said he is honoring his family by including them on the Players Weekend jersey patch.
“I put family, because I really appreciate everyone in my family who has supported me. I'm married and have two children now, so family is really important to me,” Phegley said. “My brother played baseball, my sister played softball. It was a full family ordeal to play baseball.”
In addition to being a mainstay behind the plate for the A's, Phegley has added another skill to his arsenal for the offseason – home improvement.
“I finished my basement myself this last offseason and had a lot of fun doing that – framing it up, doing all the electrical and the plumbing. I built a cool bar for the basement. I took some authentic wine barrels from Napa in California and sent them home and built a bar out of it.”
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