The Phillies Drafted a Bunch of Players Related to Guys They Employ
The MLB Draft is over, and the Phillies seemed to do OK: They took a shortstop in the first round who says he is “pretty confident” he’ll sign soon and is open to a conversion to the outfield. They took 27 college players and 13 high school ones. And at the end of the draft’s third day today, they took several players who are related to people who work for the team.
The Phillies took relatives of the general manager, the AAA manager, a former player coaching the team’s AA affiliate and an announcer. Let’s look at it in a table:
|35th||Andrew Amaro||OF||Ruben Amaro's nephew|
|38th||Beau Brundage||SS||Dave Brundage's son|
|39th||Griffin Morandini||CF||Mickey Morandini's son|
|40th||Tommy McCarthy||3B||Tom McCarthy's son|
|50th||Joseph Phanatic||LHP||Phillie Phanatic's son|
|75th||Ryan Smith||1B||Friend of ticket-taker|
|102nd||Arnold Thompson||SS||Lucky season-ticket holder|
Okay, I may have made up those last three picks. If only they were true!
The Phillies were participating in a great baseball tradition today in, at least, those last two picks of their draft (48th and 49th). It is customary in baseball circles to draft people as favors. Here’s why: The MLB draft goes a max of 40 rounds. A team can even “pass” on picking in a round. So, teams figure, why not do something nice for a relative of someone in the organization?
Look, I don't mind when a franchise throws one pick at the kid of an employee so he has something to remember. But FOUR?!?
— Deitcher Retort (@DeitchCSN) June 10, 2015
Okay, yeah, four is a lot. But I think it’s charming! Why not go all out on this silly tradition? Plus, there’s always the story of Mike Piazza. The Dodgers draft him in the 62nd round as a favor to Tommy Lasorda, a friend of Piazza’s family. He went on to make 12 all-star teams.
The last pick is already confirmed as symbolic: Tom McCarthy wrote on Twitter his son Tommy is going to Saint Joseph’s.
This is actually the second time the Phillies took Andrew Amaro, who they took in the 47th round in 2011. (The draft used to be longer.) He ended up going to college, and in spring training this year Andrew Amaro drew a bases-loaded walk in the University of Tampa’s victory over the Phillies. (The Phillies made their best nepotism pick of all time in 2011. With the last pick of that draft, the Phillies took Kolya Stephenson, son of longtime Phillies video guy Dan Stephenson.)
Prospect drafted this far down rarely make the major leagues. But who cares! At this year’s MLB draft, the Phillies took the play-by-play announcer’s son. It’s cute. It could help these kids get college offers. And, come on, the Phillies are a team where a former player runs the barbecue joint at the stadium. Drafting a bunch of relatives is exactly what you’d expect the Phillies to do.