Some interesting names from the MLB draft… and why it might not matter

The draft is over, so, of course, there are some stories here and there about some of the ballplayers who were drafted. Mainly, those stories about those who are the offspring or other relatives of former big leaguers.

This is all well and good, and it is always great to hear about how baseball continues to be passed from one generation to the next, but, well, the fact is is that these draftees are unlikely to make it to the majors (especially if drafted in the later rounds) and, in many cases, aren’t even going to sign with the teams that drafted them and instead head to college.

(more after jump)

Take Ryan Ripken, for example. Cal Ripken’s son. Has his dad’s height, although he’s left-handed (these two facts combined make him perfect first-baseman material). Hit well in high school, with a .377 Batting Average. He is definitely a legitimate prospect. However, he’s still raw according to scouts, and has committed to the University of South Carolina, the two-time defending NCAA champions. Most think he’ll end up fulfilling his commitment. He’ll almost certainly end up getting drafted again- in a higher round- in a few years barring an injury (assuming he doesn’t have his father’s indestructibility gene) or a major step back, and it’s also probably a good bet the Orioles will be the ones who will pick him, unless he takes enough major steps forward to become a premiere prospect. So it’s a good story, but, on it’s own merits, not anything more than a curiosity.

Of course, Ryan Ripken was picked relatively early, in the 20th round out of the 40. As the draft goes on, though, it becomes more, in a word, nepotistic. The son of Kirk Gibson was drafted by the Diamondbacks in 38th round. The Cubs drafted manager Dale Sveum’s kid went in the 39th round (leading to his dad saying that he better go to college instead). In the final round, the Diamondbacks took Zane Hemond, the grandson of Roland Hemond, a longtime executive of the team.

Now, it should be noted that all of these guys, whether they were picked due to talent or due to favors, are probably better ballplayers than 99% of us, but it is, in some ways, something of a shame that they get as much attention as they do, when most of them will probably go to college instead and even those that do hit the pros are unlikely to make it to the big leagues- not because of any fault of their own, but instead because getting to the Majors is hard.

Just something to keep in mind.

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