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Family affair for Astros during Draft workout

Trei Cruz, Clemens' sons showcase skills at Minute Maid Park
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Given his excitement, Astros legend Jose Cruz Sr., had to invite the whole family.

Cruz, whose retired No. 25 hangs high above center field at Minute Maid Park, brought more than 10 family members to watch his grandson, Trei Cruz, a 2018 Rice University recruit, swing a bat for the first time during one of the Astros' most important days preceding the Draft on June 12-14.

HOUSTON -- Given his excitement, Astros legend Jose Cruz Sr., had to invite the whole family.

Cruz, whose retired No. 25 hangs high above center field at Minute Maid Park, brought more than 10 family members to watch his grandson, Trei Cruz, a 2018 Rice University recruit, swing a bat for the first time during one of the Astros' most important days preceding the Draft on June 12-14.

"He was freaking out and invited, like, the whole family to come here and watch me," Trei said.

"Oh yeah," Cruz Sr. replied, "this is special."

Houston held its annual pre-Draft workout on Thursday, providing one final evaluation -- and sometimes a second or third glance -- at potential early-round selections, a number of lesser-seen potential prospects and local players of interest.

"There are players here that we're considering with very high picks in the Draft. Obviously, that carries a lot of importance," Astros assistant general manager and scouting director Mike Elias said.

"There's also players that are going to be considered all the way down the Draft. Some of these guys from small schools and rural areas are here, and they don't get a chance to get seen a lot. This helps us make great Draft picks late in the Draft."

The Astros hold three similar workouts -- featuring batting practice and sundry defensive drills -- throughout the year in Los Angeles, Atlanta and West Palm Beach, Fla. But to Elias, none are as important as Thursday's.

"The Houston workout is the most important to us because we get a lot of big talent from all across the country here," Elias said. "We get a chance to see them in our own park, to see how their power plays with wood here at Minute Maid."

Among the local players were Kody and Kacy Clemens, two Draft-eligible sons of Roger Clemens. The brothers said the experience of showcasing themselves at Minute Maid Park, where their seven-time Cy Young Award-winning father toed the rubber from 2004-06, was both "crazy" and "cool."

"We were joking around earlier saying, 'It's crazy that our father was walking right out of this bullpen.' We're just reliving memories out here," Kody said.

"Both Kody and I have had dreams of becoming Major League Baseball players," Kacy said. "And this is where it starts."

Better yet, for the Clemens brothers and Trei Cruz, was that Thursday was an attempt toward progressing their family legacies, they said.

"Everyone tells us we have the largest shoes to fill. We're trying to get there, trying to get to that level, so we'll see," said Kody, one of Roger's four sons.

"It's great, it makes me know that I have a chance to keep the legacy going in my family," Trei said.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.

Houston Astros