Miami Gulliver Prep senior Joe Dunand accomplished something even his famous uncle never could. In fact, it's tough to think of anyone anywhere matching his remarkable hitting performance.
At this weekend's Horizon National Tournament in Scottsdale, Ariz., Dunand — the 18-year-old nephew of New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez — finished 10-for-12 at the plate with nine home runs, including round-trippers on his final eight swings, according to the Miami Herald.
If confirmed by the National Federation of State High School Associations, Dunand's performance would shatter the national prep record of six straight at-bats with a home run held by six high school players.
"It's the most unbelievable thing," said Gulliver coach Javier Rodriguez, a 2002 Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim draft pick "I've never seen anything like that. It looked like a video game at one point. It didn't matter what they were trying to throw him, everything was gone. ...
"I hope he continues what he was doing out here, but nothing is going to top this. Not even if he is a major-league 15-year All-Star, he won't be able to top this."
Gulliver Prep finished 4-1 against some of the nation's top high school teams at the prestigious tournament, including a pair of games against nationally ranked Chandler (Ariz.) Hamilton. For his effort, Dunand captured Offensive MVP honors as his team placed third.
"I was surprised, but I wasn't complaining," Dunand told the Miami Herald. "I was just letting it happen. I was seeing the ball very well. I just hit it and it kept going every time."
Like his uncle, Dunand is a well-built (6-foot-2, 195 pounds) shortstop and third baseman. In fact, Dunand looks so much like his uncle that he once played the younger version of Rodriguez in a 2007 Dick's Sporting Goods commercial. While A-Rod was drafted first overall in 1993 out of Palmetto Bay (Fla.) Westminster Christian School, Dunand is ranked No. 160 among prep prospects by Perfect Game USA. He told ESPN Deportes he would sign for the right deal out of high school, but he has a scholarship waiting from N.C. State.
A-Rod has been suspended for the entire 2014 Major League Baseball season after allegedly acquiring HGH from the now defunct Florida-based clinic Biogenesis of America. When he admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs in 2009, Rodriguez warned his nephew about the dangers of banned substances.
"I got the message from him," a 13-year-old Dunand told the New York Daily News five years ago. "He said that it was stupid to make little mistakes like that."
Despite his admitted use of PEDs, Rodriguez has never hit more than five home runs in a four-game span.