Relatives of former Major Leaguers hear their names called
By Joe Trezza and David Adler
The Draft usually features a number of players with family connections to the game getting selected, but this year's festivities featured a few special twists that involved the sons of four iconic players: Craig Biggio, Torii Hunter, Ken Griffey Jr. and Trevor Hoffman.
On Friday, Notre Dame second baseman Cavan Biggio was taken by the Blue Jays with the 162nd overall pick. And he got a special surprise when his brother Conor, an intern for Major League Baseball, announced the pick. The two shared a lifetime of baseball memories together, first as teammates in high school then for two seasons at Notre Dame, and this moment was icing on that cake.
"It was really cool. He's worked so hard throughout his whole life," Conor said. "I'm just glad I could be a part of that. It was really special."
Saturday saw Torii Hunter Jr. getting taken by the Angels in the 23rd round, and this time it was Torii Sr. who was on the call to announce the pick. Hunter retired last year after 19 seasons in the Majors, and spent five of those with the Angels, where he hit 105 of his 353 career home runs.
Torii Jr. is also a Notre Dame product, though he is a two-sport athlete known mostly for his prowess on the football field. He is a rising senior who joined the school's baseball team his sophomore season in 2015. Hunter Jr. has played in 23 games with one start over his two seasons, recording two hits and an RBI, and scoring nine runs.
In high school, Hunter Jr. hit .393 with six homers, 27 RBIs and 13 stolen bases as a junior at Prospect (Texas) High School before suffering a broken leg that kept him sidelined his senior season. He was a 36th-round selection in 2013 by the Tigers -- the team his father was with at the time -- but opted to honor his commitment to play football at Notre Dame. Last season, he caught 28 passes for 363 yards and two touchdowns as the Fighting Irish went on to earn a berth in the Fiesta Bowl.
Like Hunter Jr., Trey Griffey is more known for his football prowess and was fittingly selected by the Mariners in the 24th round. The symbolism there is that is the number his father wore during his Hall of Fame career in Seattle. Trey, however, hasn't played baseball seriously since he was 11 years old. He is a scholarship receiver at the University of Arizona, and has hauled in 56 catches for 859 yards and four touchdowns over the last three seasons. He has one year of eligibility remaining this fall as a redshirt senior.
If Trey does sign, the Griffey legacy will continue in its third generation with the Seattle franchise. Ken Griffey Jr. -- who will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this summer -- joined his father, Ken Griffey Sr., as the first father-son duo to play in the Majors at the same time with the Mariners in 1990 and 1991.
Quinn Hoffman, like Hunter and Griffey, was selected by his father's longtime franchise. The Padres, for whom Trevor Hoffman spent almost the entirety of his 18-year Major League career, selected the legendary closer's son with one of their final few picks -- in the 36th round, 1,074th overall.
The elder Hoffman was one of the greatest closers of all time, recording 601 saves in the Major Leagues, second only to Mariano Rivera in big league history. Quinn, one of Trevor's three sons, was drafted as a shortstop, although he is only a high schooler, so he could choose to continue his education instead of signing.
There were plenty of others taken in the 2016 Draft with ties to the Major Leagues, and below is a list of every player with significant family ties who had his name called during the three days of the Draft.
OF Mickey Moniak (Phillies, first round, first pick)
Son of former San Diego State player Matt Moniak. Grandson of Bill Moniak, who was signed to a $25,000 bonus in 1958 by the Red Sox before playing five years professionally under the hitting instruction of Ted Williams.
P Cal Quantrill (Padres, first round, 8th pick)
Son of Paul Quantrill, a durable righty for 14 seasons in the Majors. Paul's otherwise solid work for the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series was marred by one historic moment: a two-run walk-off homer by David Ortiz that he allowed in the 12th inning of Game 4 for the Red Sox to start their historic comeback from an 0-3 deficit.
3B Joshua Lowe (Rays, first round, 13th pick)
Son of former pitcher David Lowe, who was drafted in the fifth round (115th overall) by Seattle in 1986 but accepted an appointment instead to the United States Naval Academy, where he played baseball and football. Younger brother of Mississippi State junior first baseman Nathaniel Lowe.
SS Gavin Lux (Dodgers, first round, 20th pick)
Nephew of Augie Schmidt, the No. 2 overall pick by Toronto and Golden Spikes Award winner in 1982 who is currently the head coach at NCAA Division III Carthage (Wis.).
RHP Zack Burdi (White Sox, first round, 26th pick)
Oldest brother Drew played quarterback at Western Michigan and middle brother Nick regularly hit 100 mph with his fastball at Louisville before the Twins took him in the second round of the 2014 Draft.
SS Carter Kieboom (Nationals, first round, 28th pick)
Youngest of three baseball-playing brothers, following Spencer (a catcher in the Nationals' system) and Trevor (a third baseman at Georgia).
RHP Jordan Sheffield (Dodgers, second round, 36th pick)
Brother of Justus Sheffield, a left-hander who was drafted by Cleveland in the first round (31st overall) in 2014 and currently pitches for the Indians' Lynchburg affiliate in the Class A Advanced Carolina League. Not related to Gary Sheffield.
SS Bo Bichette, (Blue Jays, second round, 66th pick)
Son of former Major League outfielder Dante Bichette and brother of Dante Bichette Jr., currently a third baseman for the Yankees' Trenton affiliate in the Double-A Eastern League.
CF Joshua Palacios (Blue Jays, fourth round, 132nd pick)
Nephew of former Royals utility man Rey Palacios.
3B JaVon Shelby (A's, fifth round, 142nd pick)
Son of John Shelby, who played 11 years in the big leagues and is the hitting coach for the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. Cousin of Pirates All-Star infielder Josh Harrison. Brother of John Shelby III, who starred at Kentucky, reached Triple-A and now scouts for the Brewers. Brother of Jeremy, who played briefly in the Orioles' system. Younger brother Jaren is the top prep position player in Kentucky this year, though scouts think he'd be best off following the path John III and JaVon took to the Wildcats.
RHP Mikey York (Rays, fifth round, 150th pick)
Son of former Major League pitcher Mike York.
CF Conner Capel (Indians, fifth round, 152nd pick)
Son of former Major League pitcher Mike Capel, remembered most for being part of the 1983 national champion Texas Longhorns' all-drafted rotation that also included Roger Clemens, Calvin Schiraldi and Kirk Killingsworth.
2B Cavan Biggio (Blue Jays, fifth round, 162nd pick)
Son of Hall of Famer Craig Biggio.
LHP Dan Dallas (Padres, seventh round, 204th pick)
Cousin of D-backs first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.
1B Preston Palmeiro (Orioles, seventh round, 211st pick)
Son of Rafael Palmeiro, who hit 569 homers over a 20-year Major League career.
RHP Zach Plesac (Indians, 12th round, 362nd pick)
Nephew of three-time All-Star Dan Plesac.
SS Taylor Snyder (Rockies, 13th round, 380th pick)
Son of former Major Leaguer Cory Snyder.
LHP Brandon Bonilla (Orioles, 13th round, 391st pick)
Son of six-time All-Star and longtime Major Leaguer Bobby Bonilla.
OF Jacob Heyward (Giants, 18th round, 545th pick)
Brother of Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward.
SS Nick Lovullo (Red Sox, 20th round, 598th pick)
Son of former Major Leaguer and current Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo.
CF Austin Grebeck (Mariners, 21st round, 627th pick)
Son of former Major Leaguer Craig Grebeck.
OF Torii Hunter Jr. (Angels, 23rd round, 696th pick)
Son of former five-time All-Star and Angels standout Torii Hunter.
OF Trey Griffey (Mariners, 24th round, 717th pick)
Son of Hall of Famer and Mariners icon Ken Griffey Jr.
CF Myles Babitt (D-backs, 25th round, 749th pick)
Son of onetime Major Leaguer Shooty Babitt.
2B Nick Shumpert (Braves, 28th round, 829th pick)
Son of former Major Leaguer Terry Shumpert and cousin of current Red Sox outfielder Mookie Betts.
RHP Bo Weiss (Yankees, 29th round, 878th pick)
Son of longtime Major League shortstop and current Rockies manager Walt Weiss.
LF Jared James (Braves, 34th round, 1,009th pick)
Son of Dion James, who played 11 years in the Majors, including three with the Braves.
2B Connor Owings (D-backs, 34th round, 1,019th pick)
Younger brother of current D-backs utility man Chris Owings.
OF Preston Scott (Rangers, 34th round, 1,029th pick)
Son of former MLB pitcher Tim Scott.
C Andres Perez (Braves, 36th round, 1,069th pick)
Son of longtime Braves veteran and current first-base coach Eddie Perez.
SS Quinn Hoffman (Padres, 36th round, 1,074th pick)
The son of longtime Padres closer Trevor Hoffman was drafted by the team for which his father spent almost all of his 18 years in the Major Leagues, during which he recorded 601 career saves, second most all-time behind Mariano Rivera.
OF Jordan Wren (Red Sox, 36th round, 1,078th pick)
Son of Red Sox senior vice president of baseball operations Frank Wren.
LHP Alec Benavides (Reds, 37th round, 1,098th pick)
Son of former MLB veteran and current Reds first-base coach Freddie Benavides.
C Eli Wilson (Mariners, 37th round, 1,107th pick)
Son of former Mariners catcher and current defensive catching instructor Dan Wilson.
3B Anthony DeFrancesco (Astros, 37th round, 1,117th pick)
Son of current Astros Triple-A manager Tony DeFrancesco.
SS Branden Fryman (Mets, 37th round, 1,120th pick)
Son of former Major Leaguer Travis Fryman, who spent eight years with the Tigers and five years with the Indians.
SS Joey Fregosi (Royals, 38th round, 1,153rd pick)
Son of Royals special assistant to the general manager Jim Fregosi Jr. and grandson to the late Jim Fregosi Sr., an 18-year Major League veteran who also managed four teams over 15 seasons.
CF Dante Baldelli (Phillies, 39th round, 1,157th pick)
Brother of former Major League outfielder Rocco Baldelli.
SS Camryn Williams (Mariners, 39th round, 1,167th pick)
Son of ex-Major League outfielder Reggie Williams.
2B Brett Bittiger (A's, 40th round, 1,192nd pick)
Son of former Major League reliever Jeff Bittiger.
SS Danny Sinatro (Indians, 40th round, 1,202nd pick)
Son of former MLB catcher Matt Sinatro.
Joe Trezza is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @joetrezz. David Adler is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @_dadler. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.