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Familiar names drafted in Fernandez, Conine

Sons of 1997 World Series champions taken in Rounds 25, 31

MIAMI -- The Marlins connected with some family ties with a couple of late-round picks on Wednesday in Day 3 of the MLB Draft. Miami selected the sons of two former players who were part of World Series title teams.

Alex Fernandez Jr. was taken in the 25th round, and Griffin Conine was a 31st-round pick.

Marlins fans are quite familiar with both of their fathers, Alex Fernandez Sr., a pitcher on the 1997 World Series squad. Griffin is the son of Mr. Marlin, Jeff Conine, who played for the '97 and 2003 title teams.

Jeff Conine is a special assistant with the Marlins, as well as an analyst for Fox Sports Florida.

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Fernandez Jr. was 3 years old when the Marlins won their first title. Now 22, he was selected by Miami as a left fielder from Nova Southeastern University, although he also pitched and played some infield. He may wind up at second base.

Griffin Conine, an All-Broward County player from Pine Crest School, is an outfielder who batted .341 with eight homers and 27 RBIs. Conine has a commitment to Duke, and he most likely will play college ball.

"Any time you have bloodlines like that, it kind of helps the odds," vice president of scouting Stan Meek said. "It just seems like you're upping your odds with big leaguer sons who have been around it. They're not intimidated by it. I think that really helps when you talk about the development of players."

Fernandez attended prep powerhouse Archbishop McCarthy High School in Broward County, where he was a teammate of Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos.

"It's a dream come true," Alex Jr. said. "I grew up here. My dad played for that team late in his career. My dad was really excited."

Initially, Fernandez attended the University of Miami before he transferred to Nova Southeastern.

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While with the Hurricanes in 2012, Fernandez faced the Marlins in a Spring Training exhibition at Marlins Park. He pitched in relief and gave up an opposite-field home run to Hanley Ramirez.

As a senior at Nova Southeastern, Fernandez batted .310 with 11 home runs, 10 doubles, five triples and 43 RBIs.

Alex Sr. had a 10-year big league career, going 107-87 with a 3.74 ERA. The right-hander made his MLB debut at age 20 for the White Sox in 1990.

With the Marlins in 1997, Fernandez was 17-12 and logged 220 2/3 innings.

Jeff Conine was an original Marlin in 1993, and he had two-stints with the organization. His 17-year career wrapped up after 2007. In '95, he was the All-Star Game Most Valuable Player.

Fernandez and Conine, however, weren't the only players taken with family ties to the organization. In the 39th round, Miami selected third baseman Bucket Goldby from Yuba City (Calif.) High School. Goldby is the son of Scott Goldby, a West Coast-based Marlins scout.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.
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