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 The Tenth Inning Blog
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Baseball's Family Ties Replenished by 2018 Draft

The annual Major League Baseball Draft kicks off the update of my Family Ties database of baseball’s family relationships for the new season.  I still believe Family Ties is the most comprehensive compilation of current and historical data about the many relatives in baseball.  It continues to be one of my favorite topics in baseball research.

The amateur draft usually has an interesting group of draftees, and the 2018 class of selected players was no different.  I’m always curious to find out the new baseball offspring of some of my favorite players I followed over the years.  Each draft year brings another set of novel stories surrounding many of the selected players.

For example, this year we have another potential third-generation player, two brothers selected in this year’s draft, a first-round draftee whose brother was also a previous first-rounder, players who are the third brothers in the same family to be drafted, and a few “courtesy” picks in the late rounds.

Here are some of this year’s crop of relatives with their stories.

Kody Clemens was picked out of the University of Texas in the 3rd round by Detroit.  He is the third son of seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens to be drafted.  Koby played in the minors and independent leagues from 2005 to 2014, while Kacy is in his second minor-league season in the Toronto Blues system.

Austin Piscotty from St. Mary’s College in California is the third brother in his family to be drafted by a major-league team.  Brother Stephen is currently an outfielder with the Oakland A’s, who also drafted Austin in the 38th round.  Jacob Maton (39th round by Seattle Mariners) is another player drafted with two brothers in pro baseball.  Two of the most recent three-brother families to appear in the majors were Yadier, Jose, and Benji Molina; and Stephen, JD, and Tim Drew.

Noah Naylor was the 1st round pick of the Cleveland Indians.  His brother Josh was also a first-rounder in 2015 by the Miami Marlins.  Some noteworthy major-league brothers who were first-round picks in past years include Andy and Alan Benes; JD, Tim and Stephen Drew; and Dimitri and Delmon Young.

Parker Meadows was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 2nd round.  His brother Austin, who made his major-league debut for the Pittsburgh Pirates this season, was a 1st round pick in 2013.

Former MLB pitcher David Weathers has a son Ryan, also a pitcher, who was a first-round selection by San Diego.  Thirty years ago the elder Weathers was a 3rd round pick of the Toronto Blue Jays.

Antonio Cruz, a third-generation player, was selected out of high school by the Houston Astros in the 37th round.  He is the grandson of Jose Cruz, son of Jose Cruz, Jr., and brother of Trei Cruz, who was drafted in 2017.  There have been only four occurrences of three-generation major-league families in history.  One of them, the Boone family, comprised of Ray (grandfather), Bob (father), and Aaron and Brett (sons), had a fourth generation player (Jake) drafted last year, but it remains to be seen if he will actually make the big-leagues.

Brothers Andrew and Christian Jayne were both drafted out of a North Carolina high school this year.  Andrew was taken in the 19th round by the Baltimore Orioles, and Christian was selected in the 27th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Brothers Blaze and CJ Alexander were also drafted this year.  Blaze was taken by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 11th round, while CJ was selected by the Atlanta Braves in the 20th round.

Kyle Murray was a first round pick of the Oakland A’s.  He was projected to be the starting quarterback for University of Oklahoma this coming fall.  However, the A’s have already signed him for a $4.6M bonus, but agreed to allow him to play for the Sooners this fall.  He is the nephew of Calvin Murray, a former major-league outfielder.

Aaron Ashby was drafted for the second time in two years.  The nephew of Alan Ashby, the pitcher improved his draft position from 25th round last year to the 4th round by the Brewers this year.

Xavier Valentin, the 19th round pick of the Texas Rangers, has extensive baseball bloodlines, two uncles and a brother who played in the majors.

Other former major league pitchers who had sons drafted this year include Kevin Tapani, Tom Browning, Bill Sampen, Scott Sanders, and Kevin Brown.

Former major-league position players who had sons drafted include George Bell, Benji Gil, Benito Santiago, Brian Turang, Damion Easley, Tony Graffanino, George Arias, Chad Kreuter, Rich Amaral, and Jeff Conine

Two stars of last year’s World Series champion Houston Astros had brothers selected in late rounds by Houston.  Carlos Correa’s brother J.C. was taken in the 33 round, while Alex Bregman’s brother AJ was picked in the 35th.  However, neither draftee is expected to sign this year.

TV talk show host Larry King’s son, Cannon, was picked by the White Sox in the 37th round.  Cannon’s brother, Chance, was drafted last year by the White Sox in the 39th round, but did not sign with them.  As high-round picks out of high school, the brothers were most likely courtesy picks by the White Sox, since their father is an avid baseball fan.

The MLB Draft usually includes a few players whose legacy is not in baseball.  This year Adam Hackenberg was selected by the Royals in the 39th round.  He is the brother of Christian Hackenberg, who played quarterback for the NFL New York Jets.  Justin Lewis was the 12th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks.  He is the cousin of NBA player Chuck Hayes and the NFL’s Richard Sherman.

Stay tuned for more updates to Family Ties.  Check out my Baseball Relatives website at https://baseballrelatives.wordpress.com/ if you haven’t visited it recently.

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