For the Sabathias, next week’s All-Star festivities will be a family affair.
But unlike his other All-Star trips, when the spotlight was shining on him, he might fall third in line this year within his own family.
CC’s wife, Amber, will be participating in her first MLB Draft as an agent with CAA Sports, while the couple’s oldest child, Carsten III, will be suiting up on July 9 at the MLB All-American Game at Coors Field, a showcase for the country’s top high school prospects.
“It's going to be a super filled-up weekend, but it's going to be awesome,” Carsten said. “It will be something that I’ll never forget. Being there with the whole family is going to be a lot of fun.”
For Carsten -- known affectionately as “Lil’ C” -- and his peers, the All-American Game will serve as a kick-off to the summer scouting season. The event debuted in 2019 at Cleveland’s Progressive Field during All-Star Week, featuring nine players who were ultimately among the Top 40 picks in the 2020 Draft and a total of 17 who were chosen in the Top 150 last summer.
“I was fortunate enough to go to that All-Star Game in Cleveland, and I actually got to see some of those guys participate in that event,” Carsten said. “I was like, ‘Man, it would be so awesome to be able to be in those guys’ shoes.’ To now realize that dream is something I can't put into words.”
For the elder Sabathia, the opportunity to watch his son play at Coors Field is as exciting for him as the first time he stepped on a big league field himself.
“It’s emotional to see Carsten play in a big league stadium,” CC said. “Just two All-Star Games ago in 2019, he was on the field with me watching the high school kids play in the Home Run Derby. I’m sure that stuck with him to be there playing in that game himself -- and he will be. It’s all full circle for us.”
Carsten, who is heading into his senior year at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, N.J., inherited his father’s strong frame, already measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds. He pitched for a while, but he found his true calling in the infield at both first and third base. He’s even trying to work on his game in the outfield, hoping to be as versatile as possible in order to do the thing he loves most: hit.
“I love using the bat,” Carsten said. “I think I can play wherever I need be in the field to be able to be in a lineup. I think that's the biggest thing. I’m growing into my body and learning how to move the way I feel I need to for the best performance on the field.”
Although CC made his name on the mound, the former AL Cy Young Award winner hit three home runs with 15 RBIs in 121 career at-bats, proving to be a tougher out than many of his pitching counterparts. Carsten believes he’s already a better hitter than his father, though the teen added, “He wouldn’t agree with that, but I would say so.”
Carsten is spending the summer playing for the FTB Phillies Scout Team 17U, a team based out of Kissimmee, Fla. He spent this week in Alabama participating in the Perfect Game 17U National Elite Championship tournament, then he’ll head to Atlanta for another tournament before taking off for Denver.
With summer scouting season heading into full swing, Carsten will have plenty of opportunities to put his skills on display for big league clubs and college programs alike. CC signed out of high school after being selected by the Indians with the 20th overall pick in the 1998 Draft, but Carsten, who will turn 18 on Sept. 15, is keeping an open mind when it comes to his post-high school future.
“I'm open to both ideas,” Carsten said. “It’s kind of hard to tell right now; it seems like so far in the future, and it also seems like it's coming up in the snap of a finger. I'm just trying to take it one day at a time. If the Draft is something that plays out, I'll take that into consideration. But education is always first; that’s what my mom preaches, so that's something I'll take into consideration as well.”
Mom, of course, is Amber, who joined CAA Sports as a baseball agent in early May. Amber will surely watch both her husband and son play in their respective All-Star events, but her primary job in Denver will be as part of CAA’s Draft team.
“Of course this isn’t my first All-Star, but this will be my first time attending the Draft and being able to learn from the co-heads at CAA Baseball,” Amber said. “This is something I’m very excited about going into this weekend and gaining the knowledge from this experience. Adding the family affair makes it only better. We have become a true baseball family.”