These 2020 Draft picks have familiar names

Cruz highlights Day 2 legacy picks

June 12th, 2020

The 2020 MLB Draft wrapped up Thursday night, and as usual, it featured some names that might be familiar to baseball fans.

Here’s a look at picks throughout the five-round event who have a notable family connection to the game, or to the sports world in general.

No. 10 (Angels): Reid Detmers, LHP, Louisville
Relative: Kris Detmers (Father, six Minor League seasons)
Kris was a left-handed pitcher just like his son, though not the same caliber of prospect. Selected in the 22nd round of the 1993 Draft by the Cardinals, he got as far as Triple-A in the St. Louis system, making 27 starts at that level. Reid was the fourth pitch off the board on Wednesday, and the second left-hander.

No. 18 (D-backs): Bryce Jarvis, RHP, Duke
Relative: Kevin Jarvis (Father, 12 MLB seasons)
Bryce, a 37th-round pick by the Yankees a year ago, returned to Duke and raised his stock considerably, even with the 2020 season being cut short. While that ultimately propelled him into the first round, he will still have his work cut out for him to match the longevity of his dad. A 21st-round pick out of Wake Forest in 1991, Kevin Jarvis pitched 187 games (118 starts) in the Majors, despite rarely enjoying a stable roster spot. He bounced to 10 different teams, having his best year with the Padres in 2001.

No. 19 (Mets): Pete Crow-Armstrong, OF, Harvard-Westlake (Calif.) HS
Relative: Ashley Crow (Mother, actress)
OK, so Ashley Crow was not a pro ballplayer. But she did play the mother of a Major League manager in the classic 1994 film, “Little Big League.” Crow’s son on the silver screen, Billy Heywood, becomes the owner of the Twins, via his grandfather’s will, and later appoints himself as the club’s skipper. But the Twins didn’t get the chance to draft her real-life son, as Pete went off the board well before Minnesota’s first selection, at No. 27 overall.

No. 22 (Nationals): Cade Cavalli, RHP, Oklahoma
Relative: Brian Cavalli (Father, one Minor League season)
While Cade is a big righty with easy velocity and a good curveball, Brian was a catcher who was selected in the now-defunct 50th round of the 1989 Draft and wound up playing briefly in the Angels’ system in 1993. His pro career consisted of 14 games and 41 plate appearances with the Class A Short-Season Boise Hawks.

No. 23 (Indians): Carson Tucker, SS, Mountain Pointe (Ariz.) HS
Relative: Cole Tucker (Brother, Pirates shortstop)
Cole was drafted 24th overall out of Mountain Pointe in 2014 and made it to the big leagues last season, starting 36 games for the Bucs. Carson has the tools to give the Tucker family a second MLB shortstop. He pushed his way into the first-round conversation this spring and ended up besting his older brother by one Draft slot.

No. 26 (A’s): Tyler Soderstrom, C, Turlock (Calif.) HS
Relative: Steve Soderstrom (Father, one MLB season)
Steve, a right-handed pitcher, was first selected in the 15th round of the 1990 Draft out of Turlock High -- the same school his son later attended -- but he opted to go to Fresno State. That decision paid off when the Giants grabbed him at No. 6 overall in 1993, five picks after Alex Rodriguez went to the Mariners. Soderstrom went on to pitch nearly 800 innings in the Minors, but he got only a three-start cup of coffee in San Francisco in September 1996, going 2-0 with a 5.27 ERA. Tyler, a UCLA commit, is a polished left-handed hitter with some questions about his ability to stick behind the plate. He and his father now rank as one of just 10 father-son pairs to both go in the first round.

Competitive Balance Round A

No. 36 (Indians): Tanner Burns, RHP, Auburn
Relative: Mike Burns (Father, three Minor League seasons)
Previously drafted in the 37th round by the Yankees in 2017, Burns went on to Auburn, where he racked up 210 strikeouts in 37 games. His father, a catcher and infielder, played in the Astros’ system from 1991-93, though he never rose above Double-A.

Second Round

No. 44 (Pirates): Jared Jones, RHP, La Mirada (Calif.) HS
Relative: Keith Jones (Father, two Minor League seasons)
A righty who can run his fastball up to 96-97 mph, Jared is following his father, whom the D-backs picked in the 22nd round of the 1997 Draft. Keith Jones, a corner infielder, played 115 games in the Arizona system, getting as far as Class A.

No. 53 (Brewers): Freddy Zamora, SS, Miami
Relative: Freddy Zamora Sr. (Father, played professionally in Nicaragua)
The younger Zamora grew up in Miami and went on to play for the Hurricanes, establishing himself as a talented defender with an improving bat. His father never played in an MLB organization, but he competed in numerous tournaments for the Nicaraguan national team in the 1990s, including the ‘96 Olympics in Atlanta.

No. 55 (Nationals): Cole Henry, RHP, LSU
Relative: Jeffery Henry (Drafted by Pirates)
Jeffery was actually drafted twice, by the Astros in the 62nd round out of high school in 1991, and then two years later by Pittsburgh out of Wallace State (Ala.) Community College. He never actually pitched in a professional game, but now his son will get another chance to do just that. Cole was originally drafted in the 38th round in 2018 but opted to attend LSU.

No. 60 (Dodgers): Landon Knack, RHP, East Tennessee State
Relative: Will Craig (Brother-in-law, Pirates Minor Leaguer)
Craig, the 22nd overall pick of the 2016 Draft, hit 23 homers at Triple-A in 2019 and is the organization’s No. 19 prospect. Meanwhile, Knack was a menace on the mound during the shortened college season, with a 51-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a fastball that touched 98 mph.

Competitive Balance Round B

No. 61 (Marlins): Kyle Nicolas, RHP, Ball State
Relative: Todd Blackledge (Uncle, NFL player)
Nicolas had one of college baseball’s best fastballs, and strong right arms run in the family. Blackledge was a three-year starting quarterback at Penn State, where he won a national title in 1982. The Chiefs drafted him No. 7 overall in 1983 (ahead of Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Dan Marino), and he played seven seasons in the NFL. He’s now a college football broadcaster.

Third round

No. 73 (Tigers): Trei Cruz, SS, Rice
Relatives: Jose Cruz Jr. (Father, 12 MLB seasons); Jose Cruz (Grandfather, 19 MLB seasons)
Trei Cruz has a long baseball lineage. Jose Cruz Jr., Trei's father, played 12 seasons from 1997-2008, chiefly with the Blue Jays, and hit 204 career home runs. His grandfather was a two-time All-Star and Silver Slugger Award winner in a 19-year career from 1970-88, spent mostly with the Astros. Trei hit .328/.487/.500 in a shortened 16-game season for Rice in 2020.

No. 74 (Orioles): Anthony Servideo, SS, Ole Miss
Relative: Curt Blefary (Grandfather, eight MLB seasons)
There are Orioles connections here, as Blefary was the 1965 AL Rookie of the Year in Baltimore. Primarily a corner outfielder and first baseman, Blefary played his first four years with the O's, winning a World Series in '66, before being traded to Houston after the '68 season. Blefary, Servideo's maternal grandfather, died in 2001. His grandson emerged as one of college baseball's best shortstops this spring and should be able to stick at the position.

No. 78 (Mariners): Kaden Polcovich, 2B, Oklahoma State
Relative: Kevin Polcovich (Father, two MLB seasons)
Kevin was an infielder as well, playing most of his 165 games at shortstop for the Pirates from 1997-98. Kaden is a bit undersized at 5-foot-8 and 180 pounds but performed well in the Cape Cod League in 2019 and in an abbreviated 2020 season at OSU, where he hit .344 with a 1.072 OPS.

Fourth Round

No. 102 (Tigers): Gage Workman, 3B, Arizona State
Relative: Widd Workman (Father, four Minor League seasons)
A 6-foot-4 switch-hitter, Gage has suited up for the Sun Devils, just as his father did before the Padres drafted him in the third round in 1996. Widd Workman was a pitcher, however, and spent four years in the Padres' and Dodgers' systems, getting as far as Double-A.

No. 124 (Indians): Milan Tolentino, SS, Santa Margarita Catholic (Calif.) HS
Relative: José Tolentino (Father, one MLB season)
José won a College World Series championship with Roger Clemens at Texas, was taken in the seventh round of the 1983 Draft by the A’s and played 11 seasons in the Minors. His lone MLB stint consisted of 44 games with the ‘91 Astros, where he backed up Jeff Bagwell at first base. His son is a slick-fielding shortstop prospect, who signed to play at UCLA.

Fifth Round

No. 148 (Red Sox): Shane Drohan, LHP, Florida State
Relative: Bill Drohan (Father, four Minor League seasons)
A high-upside southpaw, Shane was previously drafted by the Phillies in 2017, but he opted to play for the Seminoles rather than turn pro. His father, a 15th-rounder in 1987, pitched in the Royals’ system from 1987-90, though he never rose as far as Double-A.