06/08/11 5:56 PM ET
Gretzky, Pudge Jr. among famous Draft names
Bichette's son, Kaline's grandson, Gaedel's great-nephew selected
By Spencer Fordin / MLB.com
The First-Year Player Draft chugged through its second day of action on Tuesday, churning out name after name of prospects who won't begin to alter their parent club's fortunes for a few seasons. Some of those names, however, already seem familiar due to famous namesakes in baseball or beyond.
Take Trevor Gretzky, a seventh-rounder on the Draft board and a first-rounder in terms of name recognition. Gretzky, a power-hitting prep first baseman from California, is the son of all-time hockey great Wayne Gretzky, who famously moved his brood from Edmonton after being traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
The younger Gretzky, a modest prospect by any measurement, was part of a massive wave of players with well-known relatives on Tuesday. Gretzky wasn't the first of those players taken and wasn't the last, either, but his name jumps off the list unlike virtually anybody else taken after the Draft's first round.
And the Cubs didn't stop there, nabbing prep outfielder Shawon Dunston Jr. -- the son and namesake of former Chicago shortstop Shawon Dunston -- in the 11th round. The elder Dunston was the first overall selection in the 1982 First-Year Player Draft and notched nearly 1,600 hits in an 18-year playing career.
There's also Dereck Rodriguez, son of active catcher Ivan Rodriguez, among the most familiar names in the Draft. The elder Rodriguez, signed at age 16 out of Puerto Rico by the Rangers, was in the big leagues by the age of 19 and has gone on to play more games than any other catcher in big league history.
Rodriguez, a former Most Valuable Player, won't turn 40 until November and may get the exceedingly rare chance to play alongside his son. That phenomenon happened for Ken Griffey Sr. and Tim Raines, but the younger Rodriguez was drafted by Minnesota, complicating the chances of making it happen.
Steve Garvey, another player with towering credentials, saw his son, Ryan, drafted on Tuesday. The elder Garvey, a 10-time All-Star and former MVP, fell short of the necessary votes to make it to the Hall of Fame, but his son, a prep outfielder, will get a chance to make a name for himself with Philadelphia.
The 30th round -- Tuesday's final round -- featured a pair of interesting names. Washington took Bryan Harper, the brother of Bryce Harper, last year's top overall draftee, and Milwaukee went for a less obvious bloodline, tabbing prep player Trent Boras -- son of super-agent Scott Boras -- with its final pick of the day.
Some of the names had a historical bent. Kyle Gaedele, who spells his name differently than great-uncle Eddie Gaedel, was drafted in the sixth round by San Diego. Eddie Gaedel was the 3-foot-7 man who starred as a pinch-hitter in a Bill Veeck publicity stunt and walked on four straight pitches for the St. Louis Browns in 1951.
The contract of Gaedel, who reportedly dropped the last "e" in his name for business purposes, was voided by the American League the day after his appearance. His great-nephew, a star at Valparaiso University who stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 230 pounds, will have no such hazard when he agrees to terms.
Another player, Johnny Reuttiger, can claim name recognition thanks to an inspirational relative. Reuttiger, an outfielder from Arizona State University, is the nephew of Dan Reuttiger, the subject of the widely loved sports classic "Rudy." The younger Reuttiger was drafted by Baltimore in the eighth round on Tuesday.
The family connections, of course, didn't start on Day 2 of the First-Year Player Draft. The Angels took college slugger C.J. Cron -- son of former big leaguer Chris Cron -- with the 17th pick in the Draft, and eight picks later, San Diego chose prep arm Joe Ross, the brother of injured Oakland pitcher Tyson Ross.
Two other family names -- Dante Bichette Jr. and Dwight Smith Jr., son of former players and namesakes -- were taken in Monday's supplemental round. That trend toward familiar names only picked up steam on Tuesday, when Alex Santana, an infielder cut from the same cloth as his father, former big league shortstop Rafael Santana, was drafted by the Dodgers in the second round. Los Angeles later returned to nab another player with a Major League bloodline -- prep pitcher Ryan O'Sullivan, brother of big leaguer Sean O'Sullivan.
The family connections picked up steam in the third round, when Kevin Cron, younger brother of C.J. and son of Chris, was taken by Seattle with the second pick. Other third-round draftees with familiar names include Houston selection Jack Armstrong, son of former All-Star pitcher and namesake Jack Armstrong, and St. Louis draftee C.J. McElroy, a prep outfielder and son of former big league reliever Chuck McElroy.
Nick Delmonico, son of former Tennessee coach Rod Delmonico, was taken in the sixth round by the Orioles. His brother, Tony, is currently playing in the Dodgers' farm system. Another youngster, Matt Skole, the older brother of 2010 first-round draftee Jake Skole, was picked by Washington on Tuesday.
Daniel Oliver, a right-handed pitcher out of Florida State, was selected in the eighth round by the Florida Marlins. Oliver is the son of former big league catcher Joe Oliver, who had a 13-year career. Shortstop Daniel Lockhart, son of former big league infielder Keith Lockhart, was taken by the Cubs in the 10th round.
Cameron Seitzer, a college first baseman and the son of Kansas City hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, was taken by Tampa Bay in the 11th round on Tuesday. The elder Seitzer, a two-time All-Star and career .295 hitter, was also taken in the 11th round, providing an odd bit of symmetry for his son to consider.
One of Seitzer's contemporaries, former Toronto closer Tom Henke, had the same kind of experience on Tuesday, when he saw his son -- Travis Henke -- taken in the 22nd round by the Nationals. The Brewers tabbed David Lucroy, brother of catcher Jonathon Lucroy, in the 29th round on Tuesday.
And you didn't have to be part of the next generation to get involved. Deion Williams, a prep shortstop and the grandson of former All-Star George Scott, was taken by the Nationals in the 16th round on Tuesday. Scott, an eight-time Gold Glove Award winner at first base, last played in the Majors in 1979.
Detroit went to the same well with Colin Kaline, a second baseman out of Florida Southern and the grandson of Hall of Famer Al Kaline. The elder Kaline was 18 when he made his big league debut and 20 when he earned his first All-Star berth, and his grandson will have plenty of time to build his own resume.
Teams went for more family connections Wednesday, which saw the sons of prominent players like Bobby Bonilla and Charlie Leibrandt drafted to new teams. Three big-league managers -- Mike Scioscia, John Farrell and Bob Geren -- had the honor of seeing their sons drafted to their team.
All three of them, predictably, work in the same discipline as their father. Brett Geren and Matthew Scioscia -- drafted by the A's and Angels, respectively -- are catchers, just like their old man. Shane Farrell, taken by Toronto, is a pitcher, just like his father, a former big-league starter and pitching coach.
Spencer Fordin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.