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Highest drafted father-son duos

Bobby Witt Jr. joins father as 1st rounder
June 3, 2019

Following in a father's footsteps is one thing, but to do so in the MLB Draft is a whole other accomplishment entirely. There have been nine father-son duos to be taken in the first round of the Draft, most recently in 2019, when Bobby Witt Jr. was taken second overall

Following in a father's footsteps is one thing, but to do so in the MLB Draft is a whole other accomplishment entirely. There have been nine father-son duos to be taken in the first round of the Draft, most recently in 2019, when Bobby Witt Jr. was taken second overall to join his father, who was a third overall pick in 1985.

Below is a look at the families who have seen a father and son go pro via the first round of the MLB Draft, listed in order of lowest combined pick number.

Bobby Witt - 1985 (3), Rangers
Bobby Witt Jr. - 2019 (2), Royals

The 18-year-old out of Colleyville (Texas) Heritage High School joined his father, former MLB pitcher Bobby Witt, as a first-round Draft pick, going one pick before his father did.

Witt Jr. is a five-tool shortstop. The elder Witt, a right-handed pitcher, was selected third overall by the Rangers in 1985 and went on to play 16 years in the big leagues with the Rangers, A's, Marlins, Cardinals, Rays, Indians and D-backs.

The Witts became the only father-son combination each selected in the top three.

Tom Grieve - 1966 (6), Senators
Ben Grieve - 1994 (2), A's

Tom Grieve, who now serves as a color commentator on Rangers broadcasts, was drafted out of high school by the Washington Senators and made his debut during the club's penultimate season in D.C., then reached the big leagues again in 1972 when the organization moved to Texas and became the Rangers. He would play nine years in the Majors with the Senators/Rangers, Mets and Cardinals as an outfielder and designated hitter.

Grieve's son, Ben, also logged nine years in the big leagues, winning the American League Rookie of the Year Award and making AL All-Star team in 1998. Ben was dealt to the Rays prior to the 2001 season and had brief stints with the Brewers (2004) and Cubs ('04-05) but never regained his All-Star form.

Jeff Burroughs - 1969 (1), Senators
Sean Burroughs - 1998 (9), Padres

The first overall pick in 1969, Jeff Burroughs enjoyed a 16-year career that was highlighted by an AL MVP campaign in 1974 in which he hit .301/.397/.504 with 25 home runs and an MLB-leading 118 RBIs for the Rangers.

The two-time All-Star's son, Sean, was a first-round pick of the Padres in 1998, and as a highly touted prospect, won a gold medal representing the United States in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. He reached the big leagues with the Padres in 2002 but never quite lived up to his first-round pedigree.

Delino DeShields - 1987 (12), Expos
Delino DeShields Jr. - 2010 (8), Astros

Long before Delino DeShields Jr. was patrolling the Rangers' outfield, his father enjoyed a lengthy Major League career as a second baseman and left fielder for the Expos, Dodgers, Cardinals, Orioles and Cubs. He stole at least 23 bases in 11 seasons, totaling a career-best 56 in 1991. DeShields Sr. is now the Reds' first base coach. He's been with the organization in various coaching and managerial roles since 2009.

DeShields Jr., meanwhile, reached the Majors in 2015 after joining Texas in the 2014 Rule 5 Draft. His sister, Diamond, became the third member of the family to be selected as a first-round Draft pick when she was taken third overall by the Chicago Sky in the 2018 WNBA Draft.

Tom Walker - 1968 (9), Orioles
Neil Walker - 2004 (11), Pirates

Tom Walker pitched for six years in the big leagues with the Expos, Tigers, Cardinals and Angels, and ended his career on a high note, when the final batter he faced, Minnesota's Lyman Bostock on July 23, 1977, lined into a triple play. One of Walker's most impressive feats came in 1971, when he tossed a 15-inning no-hitter for Double-A Dallas-Fort Worth. He was named to the Texas League Hall of Fame in 2015.

Neil followed his father to the big leagues with seven seasons in Pittsburgh, including three playoff appearances, to begin his career, winning a Silver Slugger Award in 2014. He spent the 2016-18 seasons with the Mets, Brewers and Yankees, then signed as a free agent with the Marlins in 2019.

John Mayberry - 1967 (6), Astros
John Mayberry Jr. - 2002 (28), Mariners; 2005 (19), Rangers

After several stints with the Astros from 1968-71, John Mayberry Sr. was traded to Kansas City and broke out with 25 home runs and 100 RBIs in his first full season in the big leagues. He would go on to hit 21 or more home runs eight of his 16 seasons, the majority of those coming with the Royals.

Mayberry's son, John Jr., was drafted in the first round twice, first out of high school by the Mariners in 2002 and again, after three years at Stanford, by the Rangers in 2005. Mayberry Jr. played seven seasons for the Phillies, Blue Jays and Mets from 2009-15. He last caught on with the Tigers, signing a Minor League deal prior to the 2016 season, but did not make the team.

Steve Swisher - 1973 (21), White Sox
Nick Swisher - 2002 (16), A’s

The Swishers are the only father-son duo on this list who both made an All-Star team. Steve, a catcher and veteran of nine Major League seasons, did it in his third season with the Cubs in 1976, while Nick earned the honor in 2010 with the Yankees.

But while Steve never made the postseason, his son was a part of seven playoff runs with the A's, White Sox, Yankees and Indians, including New York's 2009 World Series win. Nick eclipsed 20 home runs in nine of his 12 MLB seasons, including a career-best 35 for Oakland in 2006.

Phil Nevin – 1992 (1), Astros
Tyler Nevin – 2015 (Comp A, 38), Rockies

Fresh off winning the Golden Spikes Award and being named Most Outstanding Player in the 1992 College World Series, Phil Nevin went first overall to the Astros in the '92 MLB Draft. He was an All-Star in 2001, when he hit .306 with 41 home runs for the Padres. Injuries limited him after that season, and he retired after spending the 2006 season with the Twins, making his first career playoff appearance in Minnesota's American League Division Series matchup with Oakland.

Tyler Nevin continued the family tradition as a supplemental first rounder of the Rockies in 2015. Playing for Double-A Hartford in 2019, Tyler began the season as Colorado's No. 6 prospect, per MLB Pipeline.

Rod Boxberger – 1978 (11), Astros
Brad Boxberger – 2009 (Comp A, 43), Reds

Rod Boxberger was the 11th overall selection in 1978, but never reached the big leagues, playing six years professionally in the Astros, Yankees and Angels organizations. Brad also was selected in the first round, by the Reds in 2009, but surpassed his father's achievements by making his Major League debut in 2012 with the Padres. He was dealt to Tampa Bay in 2014 and earned an All-Star nod in '15, when he converted 41 saves. Boxberger signed a one-year deal to join the Royals for the 2019 season, his eighth in the Majors.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com.