2011 MLB Draft Second-Generation Picks
The June 6th Major League Baseball draft didn't have the same buzz and media frenzy as the previous drafts featuring Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper as top picks. What the 2011 draft lacked in star power was compensated for by the amount of second-generation players taken during the draft.
Baseball games have long been a family event with all of the sights, sounds, smells and snacks for everyone's taste buds. The love of baseball is shared between fathers and sons, not only in the stands but on the field. More than 189 families have had father and sons play Major League Baseball. Five of those families have gone on to add a third generation player as well. These father and son combinations have been featured on cardboard several times throughout the years. Look for Topps to capitalize on these newly drafted talents creating exciting new inserts and hopefully dual signature cards.
How will these newly created second-generation baseball families compare to the Griffey, Ripken, and Alomars of recent years?
Dereck Rodriguez, drafted by Minnesota, is the son of 14 time all-star and future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan Rodriguez. Dereck was drafted in the 6th round and plays the outfield. The elder Rodriguez is still catching and is a potential Hall-of-Famer.
Ryan Garvey, drafted by Philadelphia in the 15th round, is the son of former Dodger fan favorite and ten-time All-Star Steve Garvey.
Shawon Dunston Jr, drafted by the Cubs in the 11th round, is the son of the former Cubs number-one pick whose career spanned 18 years.
Cameron Seitzer, drafted by Tampa Bay in the 11th round, is the son of Royals player and current hitting coach Kevin Seitzer. Cameron also has an older brother, Nick, who plays in the Royals organization. The Seitzers could be the next Ripken family with two brothers and a father at the Major League level at the same time.
Dwight Smith Jr, drafted 53rd by the Blue Jays, the son of MLB journeyman and 1995 World Series Champion Braves and finished second in the 1989 National League Rookie of the Year voting.
Dante Bichette Jr., drafted 51st overall by the Yankees. The son of former Rockies slugger Dante Bitchette looks to sign quickly with the Yankees but is committed to the University of Georgia.
C.J. and Kevin Cron are the sons of former Big Leaguer and current manager of the Minor League Erie SeaWolves Chris Cron. C.J. was taken with the 17th-overall pick by the Angels, while Kevin went to Seattle in the third round. Kevin is a highly regarded slugger who could possibly honor his commitment to Texas Christian.
Other draftees with famous relatives and former ball players include Trevor Gretzky (7th RD Cubs) son of the “Great One" Wayne Gretzky, Kyle Gaedele (6th RD Padres) is the great nephew of Eddie Gaedel, the 3-foot-7 ball player who drew the most famous walk in history, Deion Williams(16th RD Nationals), grandson three-time All-Star George Scott, Trent Boras (30th RD Brewers) son of super agent Scott Boras, and Travis Henke (22nd Nationals) son of former Blue Jay pitcher Tom Henke, Alex Santana (6th RD Dodgers) son of Rafael Santana of the ‘86 Mets. John Ruettiger ( 6th RD Orioles) who's uncle Dan Ruettiger is the famous Notre Dame “Rudy". Also, superstar prospect Bryce Harper's older brother Bryan Harper was drafted by the Nationals in the 30th RD. It will be interesting to see how they handle playing with each other in minors on and off the field.
These recent draftees have unlimited potential which they developed growing up around major league fields and clubhouses. It should be interesting to watch their careers develop and if they can become bigger stars than the men whom they share a last name, and hopefully whom they will share cardboard with in the future.