June 10, 2015
The Philadelphia Phillies made the later rounds of this year's MLB draft a family affair, selecting several players who are related to those within the organization.
It all started in the 35th round of the league's rather lengthy amateur player selection process, when the team selected general manager Ruben Amaro Jr.'s nephew (early hat tip to Todd Zolecki, Phillies writer for MLB.com who's kept track of nearly every pick).
Phillies selected OF Andrew Amaro in the 35th round. He's Ruben Amaro Jr.'s nephew.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 10, 2015
Ok, to be fair before piling on the rather easy Amaro hate here, it's not like the often maligned Phillies executive is wasting valuable draft picks on his extended family. Plus, as Kevin Cooney writes, this practice is not unusual in the twighlight hours of the draft.
It is not uncommon for teams to symbolically draft the relatives of employees in later rounds. A lot of teams do it.— Kevin Cooney (@KevinCooney) June 10, 2015
However, something does feel wrong about it either way. How do I put this...
@ToddZolecki ya know I realize it's the 35th round and likely meaningless, but this kind of nepotism won't look good for a gm with PR issue— thereelmarlin (@theReelMarlin) June 10, 2015
Ah, there it is! Besides, doesn't that name sound awfully familiar? If it does, its because the Phillies actually already drafted him in the 47th round back in 2011. The younger Amaro opted to play college ball at the University of Maryland, eventually transferring to the University of Tampa for his senior season.
Then he helped beat the Phillies in college-gate, or in less dramatic terms, their spring training loss to the Spartans this year where the elder Amaro's own blood helped embarrass him:
Tampa rallied against the Phillies' bullpen. After right-hander Nefi Ogando issued a two-out, bases-loaded walk to Andrew Amaro — nephew of Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. — to tie it in the seventh, Giovanny Alfonzo followed by hitting a grand slam off Hector Neris.
You see, it's not nepotism. Amaro simply still believes in the potential he saw when he drafted him in the first place. As opposed to about 96% of his decisions.
You've got to feel bad for Andrew, though. Even if the Bensalem native and William Penn Charter School grad does beat the odds and become a late-round success story, his name is forever tied to one of the most disliked characters in recent team history.
Plus, he had to grow up with an uncle that most likely asked him to stop "bitching and complaining" when he politely pointed out that he was driving in the complete wrong direction on the way to family vacation, telling him that using a GPS was for those same nerds who use analytics and advanced stats in baseball.
Andrew Amaro was a .320 hitter in a decently competitive conference with 19 steals in 23 chances and a .483 SLG. .971 fielder this year.— Ian Riccaboni (@IanRiccaboni) June 10, 2015
Ok, who's next?
Phillies select high school SS Beau Brundage in 38th round. He's the son of Triple-A Lehigh Valley manager Dave Brundage.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 10, 2015
It's hard to put that on him, as the Phillies organization has had a talent drought on the farm ever since the glory days of only a few years ago. Besides, most of the promising prospects are in Reading.
Beau Brundage hit close to .300 as a junior and was 10 of 12 on stolen bases at Mill Creek High School. He earned a student-athlete award and he helped the Hawks reach the second round of the state playoffs.
In addition, he is apparently a mythical beast from American folklore:
I am sashsquach— Beau Brundage (@beauknows02) May 7, 2015
And his name fits nicely into a classic Billy Joel song
You could be a Beau Brundage, baby if you just gave it half a chance.— Michael Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) June 10, 2015
(Lyric around 1:30 mark)
Phillies select Griffin Morandini in the 39th round. Mickey Morandini's kid from Garnet Valley HS.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 10, 2015
The eldest Morandini has spent some time bouncing around the organization, serving as manager of the team's single-A clubs before landing on the Lehigh Valley coaching staff in 2014. He was beloved during his tenure as a Phillie in the 90's for stuff like this:
Like Amaro, Griffin is a local product -- he played his high school ball at Garnett Valley High School in Glenn Mills -- and doesn't seem fazed by the the daunting pressure of having a father that enjoyed a career like Mickey. In a profile for GametimePA earlier this year, the high school senior said the fact that his dad was a big leaguer didn't weigh on him much:
"I don't really view it as pressure. I just play the game to play the game, have some fun and hopefully get a W. Honestly, I just play my game, do my best I can do and help the team out, and I don't really view it as pressure.'
"The first day of school actually, a teacher mentioned it to me ... Once the rumor spread around, a few kids came up to me. Nothing special, they were just like, '˜Your dad's a Phillie? That's cool.' The kids really don't remember.'
Seems like the kid has a good head on his shoulders.
Phillies selected high school 3B Thomas McCarthy in the 40th round. He's @TMacPhils' kid. Congrats to T-Mac and family.— Todd Zolecki (@ToddZolecki) June 10, 2015
This one is nice. McCarthy sometimes gets a bad rap among Phillies fans for his broadcasting style, but it's hard to rag on the guy when you find out more about him (give this profile from PhillyVoice contributor Paul Franklin a read).
Could you even imagine how amazing it would be to hear T-Mac flip the freak out when his son, after miraculously making the big leagues, drives a ball over the fence for the first time? Remember, this is the broadcaster who can muster up excitement for a sorry team.
Don't get your hopes up though. According to his dad, Thomas Jr., who played for Allentown High School in New Jersey, will be a Hawk come next spring.
@phiballhawk thank you. He is. Going to play at Saint Joseph's.— Tom McCarthy (@TMacPhils) June 10, 2015
For all of the Phillies other non-family draft picks, click here.