On the final day of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the sons of three of the most famous former Houston Astros were all picked. The trio’s selection was met with applause and excitement, of the literal and virtual kind.
Yet all three draft picks were little more than symbolic gestures, with all three players since declaring that they would still be attending college. In essence, they were draft-for-publicity swaps, with three sires of future Hall of Famers taking the place of other players who might have considered an MLB future if they had been picked instead of the more famous players who were.
As noted by Prep Rally's brotherly blog Big League Stew and the Ultimate Astros blog from the Houston Chronicle, the sons of Astros legends Craig Biggio, Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte were all selected on the final day of the MLB Draft. They were drafted, in order of selection, by the Philadelphia Phillies (Cavan Biggio, in the 29th round), Houston Astros (Kacy Clemens, 35th) and New York Yankees (Josh Pettitte, 37th). Within hours of each player’s selection, all had affirmed via their parents or their own Twitter accounts that they were headed to college.
Here was Roger Clemens’ account of his son Kacy’s future:
“It was great to hear his name called and always an honor to be selected,” said Roger Clemens, who picked the final two letters of Kacy’s name as a nod to the Cy Young Award. “His sights will be set on the ‘The University’ to get his education and get the Horns back to Omaha!”
And this is Craig Biggio on young Cavan, who has signed to play at Notre Dame alongside his older brother, Connor:
“[Cavan] is going to school,” Craig said Saturday. “He had some options on the first day [of the draft]. He is excited about college.”
And, last but not least, Josh Pettitte himself on his own next step. In this case, “BU” refers to the Baylor Bears:
I'm ready to get to BU with my Boys. Next chapter in my life. I love out in less than a month
As it turns out, the Astros alums were not the only sons of famous Texans to be selected in the draft. Torii Hunter’s son, Torii Hunter Jr., was also picked, snapped up in the 36th round by his father’s current team, the Detroit Tigers. After starring for Prosper (Texas) High, the younger Torii is about as certain to pass on the late round MLB dollars as Josh Pettitte and friends because of his own collegiate future; he has signed to play football at Notre Dame, though he will have to continue recovery from a nasty mid-winter injury to do so as a freshman.
Of the Texas trio -- or quartet, if you include Hunter Jr. -- the largest media buzz was created by the younger Pettitte, whose selected by the Yankees coincided with the 250th victory of his father’s career. The connection was not lost on the media or Yankees players, with the likes of Mark Teixiera and Phil Hughes quick to point out the Pettitte family’s dual achievements on Twitter.
As it turns out, if teams were looking for a famous alum’s bloodlines to generate a signable pick, they should have looked farther North, or a bit West. That’s where the Rockies found Brody Weiss, the son of the team’s current manager, Walt Weiss. Brody Weiss just finished his prep career at Aurora (Colo.) Regis Jesuit School (yes, that’s Missy Franklin’s alma mater, too) and was picked by those same Rockies in the 22nd round. Unlike his fellow famous progeny in Texas, the younger Weiss has not outright rejected a potential future with the Rockies, though it is still considered more likely that he will attend the University of California Santa Barbara, where he has signed to play baseball.
While UCSB remains the most likely outcome, Weiss’ father stopped notably short of writing off the Rockies as a landing spot for Brody, instead using the opportunity to pass his son’s contract negotiations off on his other parent.
"He got a few calls [from Major League teams]," Weiss told MLB.com Rockies reporter Ian McCue. "The Rockies knew him best, because he's been running around here. He was down there all spring. They got to see him up close and personal. It's exciting.
"That's his mom. I'm not negotiating with [Rockies assistant general manager Bill] Geivett."
That Weiss is even willing to negotiate, even if its only in a token manner, makes him a more realistic possibility, just as the likes of Manny Ramirez Jr. might have been if a team had found him compelling enough to draft, as many had expected.
Instead, Ramirez Jr. will head West to attend Central Arizona Community College. That means we could see his name called again as soon as next year, at which point this entire famous fathers soap opera can start all over again.