You get to be a professional baseball player because you are the best. The players who take the field on an MLB diamond are the best from their high schools, their colleges, and their minor league teams. Just because you are a relative of a former or active MLB player does not mean that you automatically can continue your family’s baseball legacy. You have to work hard, be the best, and get signed.
But in the 2013 First Year Player Draft that took place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, there were a lot of players with famous family members in the MLB. Here are a few of the almost 50 relatives of current or former MLB players who were just drafted. They’re listed here in alphabetical order (last name).
CRAIG BIGGIO’S SON CAVAN BIGGIO
Cavan Biggio, the son of former Houston Astros infielder/outfielder Craig Biggio, was selected by the Phillies in the 29th round (871st pick overall). Craig Biggio played his whole career in Houston, and is probably one of the best Astros players in franchise history. Cavan was drafted out of St. Thomas High School in Texas.
ROGER CLEMENS’ SON KACY CLEMENS
Kacy Clemens, son of former Major League pitcher Roger Clemens, selected in the 35th round (1,037th pick overall) by the Houston Astros. Roger Clemens won seven Cy Young awards, 6 in the AL. Kacy was drafted out of Memorial High School in Texas. Roger “Rocket” Clemens pitched for the Astros from 2004-2006, and is now Special Assistant to the General Manager.
CARL CRAWFORD’S COUSIN J.P. CRAWFORD
J.P. Crawford, No. 19 on MLB.com’s Top 100 Draft Prospects list
J.P. Crawford is the cousin of Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford. J.P. was selected in the first round (16th overall) by the Phillies. Through 2011, Carl Crawford had the third best fielding percentage (.990) among all active LFs. J.P. is a short stop who was drafted out of Lakewood HS near Long Beach, California.
BUCKY DENT’S SON CODY DENT
Bucky Dent hit .417 in the ’78 World Series, helping the Yankees defeat the Dodgers in that series, four games to two. He famously hit a go-ahead home run over the Green Monster in a playoff game as a Yankee in Boston. Bucky Dent was drafted 6th overall in the 1970 draft. His son is now in the Nats organization, drafted 676th overall.
JOHN FARRELL’S SON LUKE FARRELL
Current Red Sox manager, John Farrell, has the same birthday as Barack Obama, but he’s one year younger. He pitched for the Cleveland Indians, California Angels, and Detroit Tigers. John has 3 kids, and all of his children have been drafted in previous years. Now, his youngest son Luke was drafted 174th overall by the Kansas City Royals.
JASON HEYWARD’S BROTHER JACOB HEYWARD
Jacob Heyward, brother of Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward, selected in the 38th round (1,153rd overall pick) by the Braves. Jacob was drafted out of Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in Georgia. Wouldn’t it be crazy if Jacob makes it to the big league club and his brother is still playing for the team? Maybe after the Upton brothers patrol the outfield for Atlanta, then the Heyward brothers could too!
TORII HUNTER, SR. AND TORII HUNTER, JR.
Torii Hunter Jr, Son of Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter Sr., was selected in the 36th round by the Tigers. So both father and son play for the Tigers! Hunter hit 3 grand salamis in 2007, more slams than the Nats hit in all of 2012 (both of the Nats were by Michael Morse).
AL LEITER’S NEPHEW MARK LEITER, JR.
Mark Leiter, Jr., is a relative of two former MLB players. Mark is the son of former pitcher Mark Leiter and nephew of former pitcher Al Leiter. Al Leiter is now an analyst for MLB Network. Mark Jr. was selected in the 22nd round by the Phillies. Al Leiter pitch back-to-back no-hitters in high school. Mark Jr. was drafted out of the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
SHOELESS JOE JACKSON’S GREAT-GREAT NEPHEW JOE JACKSON
Chicago White Sox legend Shoeless Joe Jackson was a great player, but ended up being banned from professional baseball for life for throwing the 1919 World Series. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis banned Joe and seven other White Sox from baseball for life. Even though he has the third highest lifetime batting average, he cannot be in the Hall of Fame. Almost 100 years later, his great-great nephew, also named Joe Jackson, was just drafted by the Texas Rangers.
LEE MAZZILLI’S SON L.J. MAZZILLI
Lee Mazzilli was a hero player for the Mets in the 1980s. He played either center or first. And he helped the Mets win the 1986 World Series. Lee was picked 14th overall by the Mets in ’73. L.J. was picked 114th overall in the 2013 draft out of the University of Connecticut.
JAMIE MOYER’S SON DILLON MOYER
Dillon is the son of former Major League pitcher Jamie Moyer. Last year, Jamie Moyer became the oldest player in the major leagues and had the most wins, losses, and strikeouts of any pitcher. He also has the record for the oldest major league player to get an RBI. Dillon is on his way to set some records. He plays short stop for U.C. San Diego. He was selected by the Dodgers in the 38th round. His father Jamie pitched for 9 teams, but never played for the Dodgers.
ANDY PETTITTE’S SON JOSH PETTITTE
Josh Pettitte, son of Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, was just selected in the draft. He was the 1,124th pick. Like his dad, he was picked by the Yankees.
GARY SHEFFIELD’S NEPHEW JORDAN SHEFFIELD
Jordan Sheffield, nephew of former Major League outfielder Gary Sheffield was selected in the 13th round (383rd pick overall) by the Red Sox. Gary’s uncle was Dwight Gooden, which means Jordan’s great uncle was an awesome pitcher for the Mets. Jordan was drafted out of Tullahoma High School in Tennessee.
JUSTIN VERLANDER’S BROTHER BEN VERLANDER
Justin Verlander has won the MVP, Cy Young Award, and the Pitching Triple Crown all in one year– 2011. Maybe the Tigers thought that if Justin was such an excellent pitcher, his brother would be just as excellent as an outfielder. Ben was taken 426th overall by Detroit.
CARL YASTREMSKI’S GRANDSON MIKE YASTREMSKI
Carl Yastremski was an all around baseball player– so of course he won the 1967 AL Batting Triple Crown. And it took 45 years for the next player to win the triple crown– Miguel Cabrera in 2012. Carl became a Red Sox player in 1961, and Mike was drafted 429th overall by Baltimore more than 50 years later.
ROBIN YOUNT’S NEPHEW CODY YOUNT
Cody Yount is the son of former Major League pitcher Larry Young and nephew of Hall of Famer Robin Yount. Cody was as the White Sox’s 37th round pick out of Virginia Commonwealth University.
Some current Nationals players also have family history in Major League Baseball. They include:
- Jayson Werth (grandson of Ducky Schofield and nephew of Dick Schofield, and stepson of Dennis Werth)
- Steve Lombardozzi (son of Steve Lombardozzi, Sr.)
- Adam LaRoche (son of Dave LaRoche and brother of Andy LaRoche)
- Ian Desmond (brother-in-law of Josh Roenicke)
In the Nats minor league system, some players with famous relatives are:
- Brian Harper (brother of Bryce Harper)
- Cutter Dykstra (son of Lenny Dykstra)
- Lukas Schiraldi (a new draftee) (son of Calvin Schiraldi)
Are there any others I forgot? Leave a comment below or tweet me if I did (@MattsBats).
NEXT NATS GAME
NATS @ ROCKIES
DAN HAREN (4-7, 5.45 ERA) VS. JHOULYS CHACIN (3-3, 3.95 ERA)
The biggest problem is that Dan Haren might give up monster bombs to Carlos Gonzalez, Troy Tulowitski, Dexter Fowler and Todd Helton at Coors Field in the Rocky Mountain altitude.
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