The annual major league draft includes players who will be future stars, but it also includes connections to stars of the past and present.
That was the case in this year’s draft that concluded on Saturday.
There was Mike Yastrzemski, a Vanderbilt outfielder who was drafted by Baltimore in the 14th round. He is the grandson of Boston Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski. Then there’s Cavan Biggio, a second baseman out of St. Thomas High School in Texas, who was picked in the 29th round by Philadelphia. He’s the son of Houston Astros Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
Milwaukee Brewers Hall of Fame member Robin Yount saw his nephew, Cody Yount, drafted in the 37th round, the 1,113th overall pick, by the Chicago White Sox.
Even sons of current major league players were drafted.
Josh Pettitte, a right-handed pitcher from Deer Park High School in Texas, and the son of New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte, was chosen in the 37th round (1,124th overall) by who else, the Yankees. And Torii Hunter Jr., an outfielder out of Prospect High School in Texas, and son of Detroit outfielder Torii Hunter, was selected by the Tigers.
There was also a tie to long ago, with Joe Jackson, a catcher at The Citadel, getting drafted by Texas in the fifth round, 60th overall. He’s the great, great nephew of Joe “Shoeless” Jackson, who last played in the majors in 1920 with the White Sox.
J.P. Crawford, a shortstop out of Lakewood High School in California, is the cousin of Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford. He was the highest-selected among players with All-Star familial ties, going 16th in the first round by the Phillies.
Some of the other recognizable names were Jacob Heyward, brother of Atlanta outfielder Jason Heyward, picked 1,153rd overall by the Braves; Ben Verlander, outfielder and brother of Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander, chosen in the 14th round by the Tigers; Kacy Clemens, a right-handed pitcher and son of Roger Clemens, selected in the 37th round (1,037th overall), by the Astros, and Jordan Sheffield, right-hander and nephew of Gary Sheffield, by the Red Sox in the 13th round.
Inspirational pick: Cory Hahn always had the talent to play at a higher level in baseball. At Mater Dei High School, he was so good that he earned Mr. Baseball honors in California in his senior year and was drafted in the 26th round in 2010 by the San Diego Padres.
But Hahn wanted to go to college first, choosing Arizona State. In just his third game with ASU in 2011, Hahn’s dreams of making a major league team were cut short on an attempted steal of second base. He slid head first, colliding with the second baseman’s knee.
Hahn suffered a fracture of the C5 vertebrae in his neck, leaving him paralyzed from the chest down.
On Saturday, Hahn, now a student-coach at ASU, was drafted in the 34th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“It was a very emotional selection for us to make,” Diamondbacks President and CEO Derrick Hall told MLB.com. “But it’s not about us. It’s really about Cory and his family.
“He would have been a first-rounder, no question.”
The club wants to hire Hahn to work in its organization in the future.
“We want to make this permanent… working here in full-time employment with the Diamondbacks,” Hall said.
Hahn said he’ll always cherish being selected in the draft.
“It’s something that you can’t really put into words, it was very humbling that they wanted to do this for me,” Hahn said. “I’ll be forever thankful. They gave up a draft spot for me.”
StatsWatch: Yasiel Puig, the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie sensation, recorded a few noteworthy statistics in his first week in Major League Baseball, according to the Elias Sports Bureau —
- Puig is the third player since 1900 to hit at least three home runs, including a grand slam, in his first four career games. Will Middlebrooks in 2012 and Dave Kingman in 1971 are the others.
- Is the first Dodger with more than one homer in his first two career games.
- Is the first Dodger with five RBIs in first two career games since Spider Jorgensen had six in 1947 for Brooklyn in a game against the Boston Braves.
- Is the second player since 1900 to hit four home runs in his first five games, joining Mike Jacobs of the New York Mets in 2005.
- Became the first Dodger since Frank Howard (spanning 1958-60) to hit a solo home run, two-run homer, three-run homer and a grand slam among his first four career home runs.
Copyright © 2013 Bob Hurst. All Rights Reserved. Distributed by Hurst Sports Media.