- Cody Bellinger, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr. are now in the majors and building their own careers. But which potential second-generation major leaguers are next? Here’s a quick look at some of the bigger names in the minors.
Baseball in 2019 is increasingly young but oddly familiar. The NL MVP favorite is Cody Bellinger, son of former big leaguer Clay. The league’s two biggest rookie stars are Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Fernando Tatis Jr.; no points awarded for guessing who their fathers are. Playing in the same Toronto infield as Guerrero is Cavan Biggio, giving the Blue Jays the offspring of a pair of Hall of Famers. Roaming at shortstop for the Royals is Adalberto Mondesi, who once went by Raul Jr., and appearing out of the bullpen or occasionally as a starter for the Giants is Dereck Rodriguez, whose father Ivan gained his fame behind the plate.
That’s just a smattering of the big league progeny floating around the majors. There’s more coming, too. “MLB Is Increasingly A Father-Son Game” was the headline of a piece back in March by 538.com’s Travis Sawchik, which noted that the 2010s has seen more children of former major leaguers debut than any decade in baseball history. In 2019 alone, MLB has welcomed Guerrero Jr., Tatis Jr., Biggio, Kevin Cron (whose dad Chris had a brief pro career and whose brother C.J. mashes for the Twins), and Cal Quantrill (son of longtime reliever Paul).
Understandably, that pedigree helped turn some of those players into big-time prospects. Guerrero was the consensus No. 1 on multiple prospect lists this offseason; Tatis wasn’t far behind. Ahead of his debut, Bellinger was a routine presence in top 100 lists, too. But with those superstar sons now in the majors and building their own careers, which potential second-generation major leaguers are next? Here’s a quick look at some of the bigger names in the minors.
Bo Bichette, SS, Blue Jays—Son of: Dante Bichette
Between Guerrero, Biggio and Bichette, the Blue Jays seemingly have a thing for major league bloodlines. Bichette will be the last of that trio to reach the majors, though that’s not his fault. The 21-year-old infielder hit a solid .286/.343/.453 at Double A last season, landing him top-15 placement across the 2019 prospect lists of Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, MLB.com and FanGraphs. Bumped up to Triple A for this season, he suffered a broken hand just 15 games into the year, though he’s recently begun a rehab assignment.
That injury will likely keep Bichette from reaching the majors in 2019, though if he torches Triple A upon his return, it’s not out of the question he could join his former Double A teammates in Guerrero and Biggio with the Jays. That would give Toronto one hell of a throwback lineup.
Daz Cameron, OF, Tigers—Son of: Mike Cameron
The biggest piece of the 2017 waiver deadline trade that sent Justin Verlander to Houston, Cameron is a former first-round pick out of a Georgia high school and Detroit’s top position prospect. As should be expected from the son of Mike Cameron, he grades out as an above-average defender and runner, though his bat is still developing. That much is evident in his 2019 season to date: Placed in Triple A despite being only 22 years old, he’s slashing a mere .211/.300/.380 with a 28.4% strikeout rate. Still, Cameron crushed Double A last year and was stellar in the Arizona Fall League, so this may just be a matter of adjusting to tougher competition before he truly takes off. Don’t expect to see him in the majors until 2020 at the earliest, though.
Griffin Conine, OF, Blue Jays—Son of: Jeff Conine
As noted, Toronto is very much into the sons of big leaguers. The team dipped into that well yet again in the 2018 draft, nabbing Conine—whose father Jeff spent 17 years hitting in the bigs, mostly for the Marlins and Orioles—in the second round out of Duke University. The 21-year-old didn’t hit much in his first season in the minors and was slapped with a 50-game PED suspension in November, but he’s absolutely raking in his return, slashing a ridiculous .418/.458/.909 in A ball. Conine offers plus raw power, which bodes well for a big league future, though any shot at the majors is likely still a couple of years away.
Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Pirates—Son of: Charlie Hayes
Older fans will remember Ke’Bryan’s father, Charlie, as a 14-year MLB veteran who spent time with the Giants, Phillies and Yankees, winning a World Series ring with the latter in 1996. Hayes was never a big power hitter; the same holds true for his son, who’s popped just 18 homers across 406 minor league games. Everything else, though, bodes well for future stardom, as the younger Hayes is a superlative defender at third base, an excellent runner and an above-average hitter. His first taste of Triple A hasn’t been all that pleasant, as he’s hitting just .241/.333/.388 so far, but at 22, he’s got room to grow into his role as Pittsburgh’s third baseman of the future and a keystone piece alongside burly slugger Josh Bell.
Cal Quantrill, RHP, Padres—Son of: Paul Quantrill
Padres fans have already seen a bit of Quantrill this season, as he’s made five starts and will take the mound for a sixth on Friday against the Rockies. The stats aren’t the prettiest, with 14 runs allowed in 26 innings, but that does come with 26 strikeouts and a two-seam fastball that hums in at 94.5 mph. Unlike his father, who was a bullpen mainstay across a 14-year MLB career, Cal’s future is probably in the rotation, albeit toward the back. Still, he’s one of many potential impact arms in San Diego’s loaded farm system.
Other Names of Note
Nick Gordon, SS, Twins
A top-five pick back in 2014, Gordon—son of Tom and half-brother of Dee—has struggled to find his footing. He hit just .248/.298/.355 across Double and Triple A last year, though he’s seeing better results in his second tour of the latter level this year, slashing .291/.328/.473. Still just 23, he may yet make it to the bigs—and if not, he can always fall back on a possible rap career.
Tyler Nevin, 1B/3B, Rockies
Like his father Phil, Tyler is a corner infielder, and he was impressive enough in his time as a California high schooler to be chosen with the No. 38 pick of the 2015 draft by Colorado. After clobbering high A ball last year, though, he’s struggled in Double A, hitting .220/.335/.301, and prospect mavens aren’t sold on his power or defense.
Bobby Witt Jr., SS, Royals
The No. 2 pick in the 2019 draft out of a Texas high school, Witt Jr. is the offspring of Bobby Sr., a pitcher who spent the majority of his career with the Rangers. His son will join Kansas City, though his professional career has yet to begin, and at 19 (as of today, June 14), he’ll need a lot of time to develop in the minors.
Ryan Weathers, LHP, Padres
The son of longtime reliever David, the younger Weathers is just 19, so his MLB future is still distant, but he’s excelled at A ball with 39 strikeouts and just six walks in 36 innings.
The Next Next Generation
Don’t be surprised if you see some of these sons of big leaguers who were drafted in 2019 pop up on prospect lists this winter (if they sign, that is).
Logan Davidson, SS, A’s (son of Mark)
Glenallen Hill Jr., SS, Diamondbacks (son of Glenallen Sr.)
Christian Cairo, SS, Indians (son of Miguel)
Brock Bell, RHP, Red Sox (son of Jay)
Jake Randa, OF, Nationals (son of Joe)
Ryan Reynolds, 3B, Cubs (son of Shane)
Eli Wilson, C, Pirates (son of Dan)
Yorvis Torrealba, OF, Rockies (son of Yorvit)
Jack Leiter, RHP, Yankees (son of Al)
Branden Fryman, SS, Mets (son of Travis)
Grayson Byrd, 3B, Cubs (son of Paul)
Braden Halladay, RHP, Blue Jays (son of Roy)
Mason Greer, 2B, Diamondbacks (son of Rusty)
Trei Cruz, SS, Nationals (son of Jose Jr.)
Cole Roberts, SS, Padres (son of Dave)
Tyler LaRue, C, Nationals (son of Jason)
Dylan Hoffman, LHP, Padres (son of Glenn, nephew of Trevor)