Bloodlines run deep during Draft
Wallach, Sierra among legacies picked over three days
NEW YORK -- They say that baseball runs in your blood.
Those bloodlines were certainly on display during the three days of the First-Year Player Draft, as a slew of "baseball legacies" heard their names called, including several sons, brothers and even nephews of former big leaguers.
Many of those players, once they sign, will be joining familiar "baseball families."
Former Dodgers manager and current executive Tommy Lasorda couldn't have sounded prouder than when he stepped to the podium Tuesday night to announce the club's third-round selection of Orange Coast College right-hander Brett Wallach, the son of 17-year big league veteran and three-time Gold Glove winner Tim.
"Hey everybody, this pick is very special to me. I knew this pick when he was a baby," Lasorda said, taking the microphone that night. "His father was one of the greatest players of our generation."
Wallach would become the second member of his family to join the Dodgers' Minor League system as he'd join his older brother Matt, a catcher at Class A Great Lakes.
The Rangers used their sixth-round pick on Ruben Sierra Jr., a left-handed hitting outfielder out of San Juan (P.R.) Educational School. His dad, a four-time All-Star, spent 20 years in the big leagues, including 10 seasons with the Rangers.
Catcher Max Stassi out of Yuba City (Cal.) High School, a UCLA recruit taken by Oakland in the fourth round, is the son, grandson and great-grandson of former Minor League catchers.
"I was born into the position," Stassi said. "One Christmas when I was 5 or 6, Santa Claus brought me some catchers' gear and I loved every moment of it and I still do."
Stassi is also the great-nephew of outfielder Myril Hoag, whose 13-year big league career included a stint with the Yankees during which he was teammates with Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
Another direct descendant taken in the early stages of the draft was the Tigers' sixth-round pick of shortstop prospect Daniel Fields, the son of former big league outfielder Bruce Fields. The elder Fields, currently the Minor League hitting coordinator for Cleveland, made his big league debut with the Tigers and settled in the Motor City, where his son starred for the University of Detroit Jesuit High School.
Long-time Orioles fans will certainly look forward to the arrival of Virginia Tech outfield product Steven Bumbry. The club selected the son of Orioles' outfield great Al Bumbry with their 12th-round pick.
The Diamondbacks stayed close to home with their 29th pick, taking high school first baseman Jake Williams, the son of three-time All-Star third baseman and current D-backs special assistant to the GM Matt Williams.
In the 34th round, Toronto drafted shortstop Jonathan Fernandez, the son of former Blue Jays shortstop Tony Fernandez, a five-time All-Star.
In the 45th round, the White Sox selected McDaniel (Md.) College outfielder Harold Baines Jr., the son of the current White Sox coach and six-time All-Star.
Several other sons of former big leaguers had their names called over the course of the three-day Draft, though not all of them were taken by the teams with whom their dads spent their careers.
It's in the blood
|1||BOS||Reymond Fuentes||Carlos Beltran||Cousin|
|2||SD||Everett Williams||Don Baylor||Uncle|
|3||LAD||Brett Wallach||Tim Wallach||Father|
|3||BOS||David Renfroe||Laddie Renfroe||Father|
|4||OAK||Max Stassi||Myril Hoag||Uncle|
|6||DET||Daniel Fields||Bruce Fields||Father|
|6||TOR||Kristopher Hobson||Butch Hobson||Father|
|6||TEX||Ruben Sierra Jr.||Ruben Sierra||Father|
|6||SEA||Brian Moran||B.J. Surhoff||Uncle|
|12||BAL||Steven Bumbry||Al Bumbry||Father|
|14||TOR||Lance Durham||Leon Durham||Father|
|16||COL||Dom Altobelli||Joe Altobelli||Cousin|
|16||SD||Griffin Benedict||Bruce Benedict||Father|
|16||BOS||Luke Bard||Daniel Bard||Brother|
|18||DET||Eric Roof||Gene Roof||Father|
|19||NYY||Luke Murton||Matt Murton||Brother|
|20||DET||James Gulliver||Glenn Gulliver||Father|
|24||LAA||Taylor Kinzer||Matt Kinzer||Father|
|29||TOR||Zach Outman||Josh Outman||Brother|
|29||ARI||Jake Williams||Matt Williams||Father|
|30||TEX||Anthony Hutting||Jamie Shields||Cousin|
|30||KC||Josh Worrell||Todd Worrell||Father|
|30||TB||Marcus Proctor||Marcus Jensen||Father|
|32||TEX||Reggie Williams Jr.||Reggie Williams||Father|
|34||TOR||Jonathan Fernandez||Tony Fernandez||Father|
|34||WAS||Shane McCatty||Steve McCatty||Father|
|36||BOS||Mike Yastrzemski||Carl Yastrzemski||Grandfather|
|38||PHI||Cory Wine||Robbie Wine||Father|
|40||LAD||Ryan Christenson||Gary Christenson||Father|
|40||PHI||Robert Amaro||Ruben Amaro||Uncle|
|41||ARI||Cade Kreuter||Chad Kreuter||Father|
|42||OAK||Blake Crosby||Bobby Crosby||Brother|
|43||DET||Andrew Allen||Rod Allen||Father|
|43||CWS||Tyler Williams||Ken Williams||Father|
|44||WAS||Hoby Milner||Brian Milner||Father|
|45||ARI||Beau Amaral||Rich Amaral||Father|
|45||TOR||Brandon Kaye||Scott Richmond||Half-brother|
|45||CWS||Harold Baines, Jr.||Harold Baines||Father|
|45||BOS||Kyle Arnsberg||Brad Arnesberg||Father|
|46||LAA||Philip Bando||Chris Bando||Father|
|46||WAS||Seth Greene||Tommy Greene||Father|
|46||MIL||Kyle Hansen||Craig Hansen||Brother|
|47||SEA||David Holman||Brian Holman||Father|
|47||CHC||Joseph Jocketty||Walt Jocketty||Father|
|48||DET||Jake Porcello||Rick Porcello||Brother|
|48||KC||Kevin Kuntz||Rusty Kuntz||Father|
|49||COL||Mark Tracy||Chad Tracy||Brother|
|49||MIL||John Altobelli||Joe Altobelli||Cousin|
Shortstop David Renfroe, a Mississippi high school star taken by Boston in the third round, is the son of former Cubs reliever Laddie Renfroe, a sidearmer who saw a few games in the big leagues in 1991 but made his name in 1989 when he posted 19 wins and 15 saves out of the bullpen in the Minors.
In the 14th round, the Blue Jays took University of Cincinnati first baseman Lance Durham whose dad, Leon "Bull" Durham, manned the same position for many years, primarily with the Cubs.
Rockies manager Jim Tracy, himself a former big league outfielder, saw his third son drafted on Wednesday when Mark, a catcher at Duquesne University, was taken in the 49th round by the Rockies. Middle son Chad, formerly a catcher and now an outfielder, plays for the Rangers system at Double-A Frisco, while his oldest son, Brian, is the pitching coach at short-season State College in the Pittsburgh system.
With their 34th pick, the Nationals took right-hander Shane McCatty out of Oakland University. His dad, former big league pitcher Steve McCatty, was just named the club's big league pitching coach last week.
And by being selected by the Phillies in the 38th round, Penn State senior first baseman Cory Wine follows the footsteps of his father, Robbie, and grandfather, Bobby, both of whom were big leaguers. Not all the big names were direct progeny.
The first high-profile big league relative to come off the board on Tuesday night was outfielder Reymond Fuentes, taken by Boston in the first round with the 28th pick overall. A product of Fernando Callejo High School in Puerto Rico, he is the cousin of Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran. He's considered, like his All-Star relative, to be an exciting center fielder with an electric bat and good speed.
In the 36th round, the Red Sox added another Yastrzemski to their family, taking former All-Star Carl Yastrzemski's grandson Michael, an outfielder from St. John's Prep High School in Andover, Mass. Then, in the 39th round they picked Harvard-Westlake School's outfielder Gavin McCourt, son of Dodgers Owner Frank McCourt and Chief Executive Officer Jamie McCourt.
Left-hander Brian Moran (seventh round, Seattle) was drafted out of North Carolina, the alma mater of his uncle, former big leaguer B.J. Surhoff.
Several big-leaguers may soon be waiting to see their brothers join their ranks.
Oakland added to its crop of Crosbys when it took Cal State Sacramento shortstop Blake Crosby in the 42nd round, as he joins his big brother Bobby, who plays for the big league team. And the Tigers hope their Jersey lightning strikes twice as, in the 48th round, they selected right-hander Jake Porcello out of Seton Hall Prep. He's the younger brother of rookie sensation Rick Porcello.
In addition, right-hander Kyle Hansen, the 6-foot-7 younger brother of Pittsburgh Pirates hurler Craig Hansen, was taken by Milwaukee in the 40th round. He's committed to his brother's alma mater, St. John's.
Some family ties may become more notable as time passes, as some current prospects welcomed their younger brothers into the ranks.
With their 20th round pick, the Cincinnati Reds selected UC-Santa Barbara second baseman Matt Valaika. His older brother, Chris, also a UCSB product, was the Reds' third-round pick in 2006 and the organization's Minor League Player of the Year in 2008. He's currently on the DL at Triple-A Louisville with a broken hand.
Oakland used its 34th-round pick on Oklahoma State red-shirt outfielder Dylan Brown. His brother, Corey, was a first-round pick by the Athletics in 2007 and hit 30 homers last year. He's currently at Double-A Midland.
The Twins took Georgia high school pitcher Cody Martin in the 38th round. His brother Ethan was the Dodgers' first-round pick last year and is currently pitching for Class A Great Lakes.
And shortstop Deven Marrero, taken in the 17th round by Cincinnati out of American Heritage High School in Miami, has a pair of prospect cousins in brothers Chris (2006 first round by Washington) and Christian Marrero (22nd round of 2006 by the White Sox). He is also related to former big league shortstop Rey Ordonez.
Others could be not just carrying along the family tradition but taking it to another level, as sons of longtime Minor League prospects hope to bring big league debuts to their family trees.
Among that group were a pair of players who went within the top 50.
Los Angeles Angels first-round pick Mike Trout, taken at No. 25 overall out of high school in New Jersey, is the son of former Twins Minor League infielder Jeff Trout, who hit over .300 in four seasons before injuries ended his career prematurely.
Southern Cal right-hander Brad Boxberger, the Reds' pick in the supplemental first round at No. 43, just missed joining his dad Rod as what would have been the first-ever father-son first-round combo from the same school. His dad was 1978 College World Series MVP and a first-round pick that spring by Houston but never made it to the Majors.
And one other very familiar sports name, though not from baseball, was called when the Angels selected catcher Asaad Ali, son of boxing great Muhammad Ali, in the 40th round.
Lisa Winston is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.