Fathers and sons: This year’s MLB draft is a family affair

Jul 17, 2022

  • Joon LeeESPN


      Previously a Staff Writer at Bleacher Report
      Cornell University graduate

The 2022 MLB draft has finally arrived, with plenty of future stars ready to begin their journeys to the major leagues. You might see plenty of names you’ll recognize tonight — several potential draft picks have had famous fathers who’ve already made a name for themselves in the majors. Here’s a quick overview of who’s who in the draft, the Futures Game and the All-Star Game.


Jack Leiter

Why you know his dad: Al Leiter played in the big leagues from 1987 through 2005, making two All-Star appearances, winning three World Series titles with the Toronto Blue Jays and Florida Marlins and pitching a no-hitter in 1996 before transitioning to a post-career role with the YES Network and MLB Network. Leiter has received multiple Sports Emmy Award nominations and won a New York Sports Emmy for his work in television.

Why you’ll know him: Jack Leiter rose to stardom during his time at Vanderbilt University, becoming one of the top prospects for the 2021 draft before being selected second overall by the Texas Rangers with a $7.92 million signing bonus. Leiter has struggled so far this season in Double-A with a 6.30 ERA in 50 innings in 14 games. He’s also walked 30 to the tune of a 1.60 WHIP.

On Sunday night, Leiter was pretty excited when his Vanderbilt teammate Kumar Rocker, the son of former NFL pro Tracy Rocker, joined him when the Rangers selected him in the draft.

Let’s go! This guy is gonna be great! Now let’s get to work 🖤 @KumarRocker https://t.co/S3ttOMo1mZ

— jack leiter (@jackleiter22) July 18, 2022

😂😂 see you soon @KumarRocker https://t.co/BYAkqf5obp

— jack leiter (@jackleiter22) July 18, 2022

Darren Baker

Why you know his dad: Baker’s dad is the legendary manager Dusty Baker, currently the skipper of the Houston Astros. Baker played in the big leagues from 1968 through 1986 before becoming a manager in 1993, starting off with the San Francisco Giants. Baker also played an integral role in possibly the first-ever high five, which occurred between him and Glenn Burke at Dodger Stadium in 1977.

Why you’ll know him: Baker first became known to baseball fans during the 2002 World Series, when he served as a bat boy for the Giants. On a run-scoring play in Game 5, first baseman JT Snow swept the three-year-old Baker off his feet to prevent him from getting trampled. Baker was selected in the 10th round of the 2021 MLB draft and is currently playing in High-A in the Washington Nationals organization, hitting .273/.333/.367 with 10 steals in 62 games.


Druw Jones

Why you know his dad: Andruw Jones was one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball history, earning five All-Star appearances, 10 Gold Gloves and a Silver Slugger award. He’s remembered predominantly for his time with the Atlanta Braves from 1996 through 2007. Jones was called up to the majors at 19 and ranks second in baseball history for the most Gold Gloves, tied with Al Kaline, Ichiro Suzuki and Ken Griffey Jr.

Why you’ll know him: Druw Jones reminds scouts of his father, showing a five-tool skillset as a center fielder — he’s a strong right-handed hitter and has a reputation as the best defensive center fielder in the 2022 high school class. While Jones has an opportunity to play baseball at Vanderbilt, he likely won’t play a game in Nashville after he’s selected among the top picks in this year’s MLB draft.

Jackson Holliday

Why you know his dad: Matt Holliday put together a strong career with seven All-Star appearances, four Silver Sluggers, an NLCS MVP and a World Series title. Holiday played a major role in seven different playoff appearances, particularly for the Colorado Rockies and St. Louis Cardinals.

Why you’ll know him: Like his father, Jackson Holliday is one of the top hitters in the 2022 high school class, although unlike his father, he hits from the left side of the plate. Holliday broke J.T. Realmuto’s national high school record for hits in a season with 89 in 41 games while batting .685/.749/1.392, showing an advanced approach at the plate and a high baseball IQ. He earned a scholarship to Oklahoma State, where his dad is a volunteer assistant coach.

Carsten Sabathia

Why you know his dad: CC Sabathia was one of the most imposing and dominant left-handed pitchers in all of baseball. Sabathia went to six All-Star games, won a Cy Young Award in 2007 and won the World Series with the Yankees in 2009 while becoming the 17th pitcher and third lefty in baseball history to reach 3,000 strikeouts. Sabathia is also tied with Bob Gibson for the second-most wins by a Black pitcher in MLB history behind Ferguson Jenkins.

Why you’ll know him: Carsten doesn’t pitch like his father, instead playing the corner infield spots as a senior at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey. Sabathia is committed to Georgia Tech and was recruited by Harvard, UCLA and Wake Forest. He has stated that he is open to signing a contract if a draft situation plays out in his favor, but has also talked about wanting to get an education.

Justin Crawford

Why you know his dad: Carl Crawford played in four All-Star games from 2002 through 2016 with a Gold Glove and Silver Slugger in 2010, leading the league in stolen bases four times. Crawford was at his best during his time from 2002 through 2010 with the Tampa Bay Rays before signing a seven-year, $142 million contract with the Boston Red Sox, a situation that ended in disaster. He was traded to the Dodgers after the 2012 season. Since his playing days, Crawford has run 1501 Certified Entertainment, an independent record label in Houston that signed hip-hop megastar Megan Thee Stallion, who later sued the label and claimed they were blocking her from releasing music.

Why you’ll know him: The younger Crawford plays at Las Vegas high school powerhouse Bishop Gorman, the alma mater of Joey Gallo. Crawford is one of the best athletes in the incoming draft class, displaying top-tier speed that makes him a threat to steal and helps him cover a lot of ground in the outfield. Teams will be trying to sign him away from a commitment to Louisiana State.

Cam Collier

Why you know his dad: Lou Collier played in the major leagues from 1997 through 2004 after being selected in the 31st round of the 1992 MLB draft. Collier primarily served as a utility man, playing shortstop and outfield. After his career in the major leagues, Collier played two years in the Korean Baseball Organization, in 2005 with the LG Twins and in 2006 with the Hanwha Eagles.

Why you’ll know him: Collier ranks as one of the top prospects in the draft, highlighted by his outstanding bat speed and his bat-to-ball skills while hitting the ball to all fields. Collier previously was a member of the 2023 class, but he got his GED and went to Chipola Junior College to make sure he was drafted this year. Conversations around his future position place him at third base, first base or the outfield, and any team drafting him will need to convince him to not go to Louisville.

Robert Moore

Why you know his dad: Dayton Moore started working in Major League Baseball as a scout for the Atlanta Braves in 1994. He worked his way up to becoming the general manager of the Kansas City Royals in 2006 before getting promoted to president of baseball operations in 2022, constructing the teams that won the American League pennant in 2014 and the World Series in 2015.

Why you’ll know him: Robert Moore had a chance to go in the first five rounds of the 2020 draft had he not graduated early from high school to enroll early at Arkansas, where he’s become known as Big Game Bob for his clutch hits. He currently plays second base, but some scouts believe he could be a shortstop as well, hitting with enough power to justify being at either infield spot.

Elijah Green

Why you know his dad: Eric Green played in the NFL from 1990 through 1999, twice a Pro Bowler as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers, who drafted him in the first round. His best season came in 1993, when he recorded 63 receptions for 942 yards and five touchdowns.

Why you’ll know him: One of the top prospects in the draft, Green makes loud contract, drives balls to all fields, hits dingers out of the park, runs at an elite level and covers a lot of grass in the outfield, although scouts wonder about the swing and miss in his game. If Green goes in the first round, it would be the first time a father and son duo went in the first round of both the NFL and MLB drafts.


Vladimir Guerrero Jr

Why you know his dad: Senior is one of the greatest bad-ball hitters in baseball history and a generation icon, earning nine All-Star appearances and eight Silver Sluggers, winning the American League MVP as a member of the Los Angeles Angels and earning induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2018 with 92.9% of the vote on the second ballot.

Why you’ll know him: Vladdy Jr. has already established himself as a superstar in the majors, placing second in MVP balloting in 2021 (just his second season) behind Shohei Ohtani. Guerrero Jr. hasn’t been quite as good this season, but is still one of the biggest offensive threats in the game, hitting .263/.340/.482 with 20 homers and 56 RBIs in 89 games so far.