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Let's build a roster using the sons of ex-players

June 19, 2020

Families have bonded over baseball since it became our national pastime. Whether it’s early childhood hitting lessons in the backyard, a trip to the ballpark imprinting a permanent love for the sport or the nightly experience of watching a game together, baseball creates memories that can last a lifetime. From

Families have bonded over baseball since it became our national pastime. Whether it’s early childhood hitting lessons in the backyard, a trip to the ballpark imprinting a permanent love for the sport or the nightly experience of watching a game together, baseball creates memories that can last a lifetime.

From Ken Griffey Sr. and Jr. to Bobby and Barry Bonds, multi-generation families have been a crucial part of MLB’s history. Now, a trio of baseball sons of superstar dads -- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio and Bo Bichette -- are the core of the Blue Jays’ present and future. But these “Baby Blue Jays” are hardly the only ones impacting the game.

It left us wondering: What is the best 2020 roster composed exclusively of active players whose fathers made it to The Show?

The criteria for this “All-MLB-Sons Team” was simple: For a player to be eligible, his father must have played in MLB, whether it was one game or a Hall of Fame career.

Here’s our squad.

LINEUP

Catcher: Austin Romine, Tigers
After spending the majority of the past decade as the Yankees’ backup, the defensive specialist is likely to get his first legitimate crack to be a No. 1 backstop for the Tigers. Romine hit 10 homers in 77 games in 2018, so there’s some power potential.

Father: Kevin Romine (MLB career -- 331 games from 1985-91)
An outfielder who played his entire career with the Red Sox, Kevin knocked in a career-best 23 runs in 1989. As a bonus, his other son, Andrew, also played for the Tigers, and in 2017 became the fifth Major Leaguer in history to play all nine positions in one game.

First base: C.J. Cron, Tigers
Another Tiger, and another brother of a big leaguer in the D-backs’ Kevin Cron, C.J. has bashed 55 homers over the past two seasons and is on his fourth American League team (Angels, Rays, Twins). He feasted on lefties with the Twins in 2019, recording a 1.020 OPS.

Father: Chris Cron (12 games from 1991-92)
Chris got his only two career hits in 1991 as a member of the California (yes, California) Angels. The first baseman’s 1992 season was a challenge: 10 at-bats, zero hits.

Second base: Robinson Canó, Mets
The eight-time All-Star is one of the greatest hitters at his position in MLB history. With 324 career homers, he’s 53 behind Jeff Kent for the most by a player who spent the majority of his career at the position. The smooth fielder also has won two Gold Glove Awards.

Father: José Canó (Six games in 1989)
The right-hander gave up two homers in 23 career innings as a member of the Astros, but more famously, he yielded 32 to his sweet-swinging son in the 2011 Home Run Derby. The two celebrated Robinson’s win with a memorable embrace.

Shortstop: Fernando Tatis Jr., Padres
In a mesmerizing rookie season as a 20-year-old, the phenom quickly established himself as one of baseball’s up-and-coming stars. Tatís racked up 4.1 WAR (per Baseball Reference) in 84 games by hitting .317 with 22 homers, 53 RBIs and 16 stolen bases before a back injury ended things prematurely.

Father: Fernando Tatís Sr. (949 games from 1997-03, ‘06, ‘08-10)
He belted 113 homers over a solid career, but none more famous than the two grand slams he hit, in the same inning, off the same pitcher (Chan Ho Park), for an historic, once-in-baseball-history performance in 1999. Fernando Jr. was just 4 months old at the time of this remarkable feat.

Third base: Bo Bichette, Blue Jays
A shortstop by trade, Bichette moves to the hot corner for the good of the squad. His 2019 rookie season was tremendous, as he became the first player in history with 10 extra-base hits in his first nine career games and was the first rookie since Ted Williams (1939) to have nine straight games with an extra-base hit.

Father: Dante Bichette (1,704 games from 1988-2001)
He was an original Blake Street Bomber. The four-time All-Star outfielder crushed 274 homers, including a National League-best 40 in 1995, when he also led MLB with 128 RBIs.

Left field: Michael Brantley, Astros
The smooth-swinging lefty has put together quite a career, with 28.7 WAR and four All-Star selections. His best season was 2014, when he finished third in the AL MVP race after hitting .327 with 20 homers, 97 RBIs and 23 steals.

Father: Mickey Brantley (302 games from 1986-89)
He put up rather pedestrian numbers as an outfielder in the bigs, though he did have 32 career homers. Here’s what’s fascinating: Raised in Catskill, N.Y., Mickey lived in the same home as boxing legend Mike Tyson for a brief period.

Center field: Cody Bellinger, Dodgers
Only 24, the 2019 NL MVP (.305, 47 homers, 115 RBIs, NL-best 351 total bases) already is among the elite players in the game -- a star at the plate and in the field at first base, right field and center field. He won the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 2017 by crushing 39 homers.

Father: Clay Bellinger (183 games from 1999-2002)
Clay was a bench player for the Yankees during their dynasty days, winning World Series rings in 1999 and 2000. He’s probably better known for being an assistant coach for Cody’s Little League team, which advanced to the 2007 Little League World Series.

Video: Cody Bellinger: Williamsport to the Bigs

Right field: Joc Pederson, Dodgers
Last season was the best of his career, as he belted 36 homers and helped lead the Dodgers to their seventh straight NL West title. He was an All-Star in 2015 and hit three home runs in the ‘17 World Series.

Father: Stu Pederson (Eight games in 1985)
His brief career included zero hits and zero walks, but he did have an RBI via a sacrifice fly for the Dodgers’ 1985 NL West championship club. Basically, he’s the Moonlight Graham of baseball dads.

Designated Hitter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Blue Jays
Being the son of a Hall of Famer and making a meteoric rise through the Minor Leagues, the hype for MLB’s No. 1 prospect entering 2019 was immense. There were some ups and downs, but Vlad Jr. showed plenty of promise as a 20-year-old rookie by hitting .272 with 15 dingers and 69 RBIs in 123 games.

Father: Vladimir Guerrero (2,147 games from 1996-2011)
He doesn’t require much of an introduction. Inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2018, the nine-time All-Star and 2004 AL MVP was one of the most electrifying talents in baseball history -- and he made a touching tribute for his son last year.

BENCH

Adalberto Mondesi, SS, Royals: 2.4 WAR, 43 steals in 2019
Father: Raul Mondesi -- 1994 Rookie of the Year, 271 homers

Cavan Biggio, INF/OF, Blue Jays: 2.9 WAR, .364 OBP in 2019
Father: Craig Biggio -- 3,060 hits, Class of 2015 Hall of Famer

Dee Gordon, INF, Mariners: Two-time All-Star, three-time MLB steals leader
Father: Tom Gordon -- Three-time All-Star, 158 saves

Travis Shaw, 1B/3B, Blue Jays: 63 homers from 2017-18
Father: Jeff Shaw -- Two-time All-Star, 203 saves

Delino DeShields, OF, Indians: Four seasons of 20-plus steals
Father: Delino DeShields -- 463 steals in 13-year career

Chad Wallach, C, Marlins: 38 percent career caught-stealing rate
Father: Tim Wallach -- Five-time All-Star, 1,125 RBIs

ROTATION

Lance McCullers Jr., Astros
The righty assumes the role of ace. His career was off to a strong start (29-22, 3.67 ERA) before Tommy John surgery sidelined him for 2019. He threw four shutout innings in Game 7 of the 2017 ALCS to lead the Astros to the World Series.

Father: Lance McCullers Sr. (306 games from 1985-90, ‘92)
He had the best year of his career as a rookie in 1986, going 10-10 with a 2.78 ERA. Nicknamed “Baby Goose” after Hall of Famer Rich “Goose” Gossage, he finished his career with a 3.25 ERA.

Cal Quantrill, Padres
He was the No. 8 pick in the 2016 MLB Draft and made it to the bigs last season, going 6-8 with a 5.16 ERA. The Padres hope he can be a rotation staple for the foreseeable future.

Father: Paul Quantrill (841 games from 1992-2005)
He was known for his durability as a reliever, leading his league in appearances every season from 2001-04. He is a member of the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Dereck Rodríguez, Giants
Perhaps best known for his luscious locks, Rodríguez has a 12-15 career mark with a 4.10 ERA.

Father: Ivan Rodríguez (2,543 games from 1991-2011)
He was one of the greatest catchers in history. The Hall of Famer racked up 68.7 WAR, third-best among backstops. Pudge played in 14 All-Star Games, won 13 Gold Gloves and was the 1999 AL MVP.

Pudge misses foul ball, Dereck laughs

Luke Farrell, Rangers
More of a reliever than a starter, the right-hander could serve as the team’s “opener.” Farrell has only started in four of his career 39 appearances, but he’s been serviceable, with a 4.68 ERA.

Father: John Farrell (116 games from 1987-90, ‘93-96)
He’s better known for guiding the Red Sox to the title in 2013, his first season as the club’s skipper. But he also had an eight-year career, including a 14-10 campaign in 1988.

Mark Leiter Jr., D-backs
He’s struggled at the Major League level (5.53 ERA) but does have 11 starts on his resume. His Minor League numbers since 2013 are much better -- 32-24 with a 3.43 ERA.

Father: Mark Leiter Sr. (335 games from 1990-99, 2001)
He didn’t have quite as good a career as his younger brother, Al (162 wins), but he did win 65 games. Control, however, was an issue, as Mark Sr. led his league in hit batters three straight years from 1994-96.

BULLPEN

Closer: Cam Bedrosian, Angels
With nine saves over a six-year career, he gets the ninth inning on this squad. The righty has been a solid reliever for the Angels and was especially terrific in 2016, allowing just five earned runs in 40 1/3 innings. His pop can give him pointers on how to finish games.

Father: Steve Bedrosian (732 games from 1981-91, ‘93-95)
He’s most remembered for his brilliant 1987, when he won the NL Cy Young Award after leading MLB with 40 saves for the Phillies. In a solid 14-year career, he made the most of his only year with the Twins, winning the World Series in 1991.

Hunter Harvey, Orioles: 1.42 ERA over 6 1/3 innings as a rookie in 2019
Father: Bryan Harvey -- AL-best 46 saves in 1991, two-time All-Star

Jonathan Hernández, Rangers: 4.32 ERA over 16 2/3 innings as a rookie in 2019
Father: Fernando Hernández -- Two career appearances (40.50 ERA) with 1997 Tigers

James Russell, Mexican League: 394 MLB appearances from 2010-16
Father: Jeff Russell -- Two-time All-Star, 186 saves (including AL-best 38 in 1989)

Casey Coleman, Mexican League: Hasn’t pitched in MLB since 2014; 2.03 ERA in Mexican League in '19.
Father: Joe Coleman -- 142 wins over 15 seasons (His father, also named Joe Coleman, won 52 games over 10 seasons)

How would this team perform?
Clearly, the lineup is very strong, with a reigning MVP in Bellinger, two steady veterans in Canó and Brantley, a pair of sluggers in Cron and Pederson, and a trio of young studs in Tatis, Bichette and Guerrero. The pitching, however, is lacking. The projected WAR for this team in 2020 (using Steamer) is 37.3, which puts this crew in approximately the 85-win category. That might earn you a Wild Card spot.