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I’d like to think by now we’re all used to sports stars of our youth producing children who are ready to take their place in big leagues, but man, it really never gets easier.
Even after Jack Leiter and Vlad Guerrero Jr. and even Ken Griffey Jr., there’s still nothing that makes you feel quite as old as seeing a top prospect walk across the stage on draft night as the announcers talk about what his dad back when he was your favorite player.
We’ve now even reached the point where the highlights of those fathers are in high definition! It’s ridiculous.
The MLB Draft on July 17 should be no different. If you’re paying attention to the first round—and fans of the Orioles, Diamondbacks and Rangers really should—you’re going to hear a lot of familiar names called early on.
The future of Major League Baseball is going to sound a lot like its recent past. Here’s a small sampling.
Yup. That’s Andruw Jones son hitting tanks off high schoolers in Georgia.
The elder Jones made five All-Star appearances and won 10 Gold Gloves during his MLB career. His son might be even better. MLB Pipeline ranks him as the No. 1 player in this year’s class with some ridiculous tools.
On a scale of 20-80, the younger Jones grades out with 60 hit, 70 run and 70 fielding. MLB Pipeline calls him the “best defensive center fielder in the 2022 high school crop and might be the best defender in the entire draft”.
If you couldn’t tell by the swing—or the last name—that’s Matt Holliday’s kid and, yes, he is also one of the top ranked players in this year’s class.
Currently No. 4 on MLB Pipeline’s rankings, Holliday grades out with 60 hit and 55 power at the plate while making himself a force at shortstop. If for some reason he doesn’t get a massive signing bonus as a top 10 pick, he’s committed to join an Oklahoma State program led by his uncle, Josh Holliday that features Matt as a volunteer assistant.
Something tells us he’ll be taking his talents to the minor leagues instead.
Lou Collier played 315 Major League games across eight seasons and five teams as a true grinder of the sport. His son Cam should surpass that mark pretty easily.
MLB Pipeline’s No. 17 ranked player, Cam is a 60-grade hitter with 50-grade power. Here’s what stands out on his draft report:
“Most of the excitement about Collier centers around his left-handed bat. He has a loose stroke with outstanding bat speed and uncanny bat-to-ball skills. For most of the summer, he squared just about everything up, using the whole field and not being bothered by premium velocity, and he continued to show professional at-bats this spring. There’s good raw power in his swing, with more likely to come. While he’s not a burner, he’s a solid runner.”
Look at the speed on the bases here! Oh wait, that’s Carl Crawford’s kid? OK, yeah, that makes a lot more sense.
Barely six years after his dad hung up his cleats, here comes Justin straight out of the same high school that produced Joey Gallo, Paul Sewald and Austin Wells in recent years. Crawford is currently ranked in the mid-30s, but don’t be surprised to see his name start to move up the mock draft boards the way his tools play out.
If not, he may just be moving from a powerhouse high school to a powerhouse college by following through on his commitment to LSU.
If Druw Jones doesn’t end up going No. 1 overall this summer, the honor could fall to Elijah Green—the son of former NFL Pro Bowl tight end Eric Green.
Gifted with a body type befitting a football star, the 6’3″, 225 pound high schooler channels all that power into obliterating baseballs for a living. And, man, is he living well. MLB Pipeline has Green at No. 2 in its rankings right now, but that’s pretty arguable given his scouting report:
“Green is capable of doing just about everything very well. He can make very loud contact and has proven he can drive the ball to all fields and hit the ball out of the park just about anywhere with at least plus raw power, and he’s done that this spring in front of a lot of decision makers. . The one question that had arisen about his offensive upside had been about the swing-and-miss in his game. He’s struggled in the past against elevated velocity and there are some concerns about his ability to adjust to offspeed and breaking stuff, but had assuaged many of those fears with how he has swung the bat this spring.”
The call-ups of St. Louis Cardinals prospects Nolan Gorman and Matthew Liberatore has been a long time coming and on Friday, Gorman made his MLB debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Batting sixth and playing second, Gorman was looking to make a great first impression in the big leagues and with one out in the second inning, he did just that.
Gorman's single was the hardest-hit ball of the game with an exit velocity of 106.8 MPH.
His rise through the minor leagues since 2018 has been meteoric and his play since moving up to Double-A Springfield is nothing short of incredible.
In Double-A, Gorman hit .288/.354/.508 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI in 43 games played.
Since moving up to Triple-A Memphis, in 110 games, Gorman hit .284 with an OBP around .350 and slugging around .500, mashing 29 home runs and driving in 71.
He's gotten better at every minor league level he's been at and has been waiting ever so eagerly for St. Louis to call him up.
Even though Triple-A competition isn't quite the big leagues, to go from hitting .240-.250 or so through Single-A to .280 and .290 by the highest level of the minors is a massive improvement.
As for St. Louis, Tommy Edman has scored the lone run of Friday night's game against Pittsburgh and is 2-for-3 on the day.
Adam Wainwright has been in control on the mound for the Cardinals, throwing five scoreless innings and striking out three.
After a rough series where St. Louis lost three of four to the New York Mets, the Cardinals need a massive series victory in Pittsburgh to rebound and get back to winning ways.