LOS ANGELES (AP) — This yr’s All-Star Futures Recreation was son-splashed.
Darren Baker, the 23-year-old son of Houston supervisor Dusty Baker, was on the Nationwide League roster at Dodger Stadium for baseball’s premier showcase occasion.
Jack Leiter, the 22-year-old offspring of two-time All-Star Al Leiter, was on the American League pitching workers.
Darren is remembered as the three 1/2-year-old bat boy for his daddy’s Giants who was scooped out of hurt’s means by J.T. Snow throughout Recreation 5 of the 2002 World Sequence.
“I really feel prefer it’s at all times seen that means slightly because it occurred,” Darren stated Saturday.
They’re a part of baseball’s generational pipeline of households made well-known by the Bells, Boones, Colemans and Hairstons. Simply forward, Sunday’s newbie draft might see Druw Jones (son of Andruw), Justin Crawford (Carl) and Jackson Holliday (Matt Holliday) develop into first-round picks.
Bypassed in a 2020 draft shortened to 5 rounds because of the coronavirus, Darren Baker remained at Cal for his senior yr and hit a team-best .327 with 28 stole bases in 34 tries, although with no homers and 17 RBIs.
Washington, the crew his father managed in 2016 and ‘17, drafted him within the twenty seventh spherical in 2016 and within the tenth spherical with the 293rd decide in 2020, signing him for slot worth of $146,800. Darren performed 4 video games on the rookie degree Florida Advanced League Nationals and 18 at Class A Fredericksburg.
This yr he’s at Wilmington of the South Atlantic League, a better Class A, and is batting .273 with two homers, 25 RBIs and 10 stolen bases. Fairly totally different than school ball.
“It’s extra simply simply the grind of taking part in day-after-day,“ he stated. ”It’s plenty of video games.”
Leiter seems to be like a right-handed clone of his left-handed dad, who pitched from 1987-2005. Identical facial options, similar vocal cadence, similar opinions — pitch clocks OK with no runners however not with males on base.
Jack attended Delbarton Faculty in Morristown, New Jersey, the place he was teammates with Yankees shortstop prospect Anthony Volpe, additionally on Saturday’s AL roster.
Leiter went to Vanderbilt reasonably than signal with the Yankees, who took him within the twentieth spherical in 2019. Texas chosen him second total final yr after Pittsburgh picked catcher Henry Davis, and he began his professional profession this season at Double-A Frisco. Leiter is 2-7 with a 6.30 ERA in 14 video games. Leiter has needed to adapt to the inundation of knowledge in fashionable baseball.
“It’s balancing all of the superior info that we get with competing,“ he stated. ”I believe it’s simple typically to get away from that, while you’re wanting into spin charges and the form of your slider, what the TrackMan stated about your curveball that outing, my launch level was 0.2 inches no matter decrease than it was earlier within the season. You can begin wanting too far into these items after which it comes time to compete and so they’re nonetheless sort of in your head.”
Al Leiter was readily available Saturday however Dusty was in Houston for the Astros’ sport in opposition to Oakland. He’ll fly to Los Angeles to handle the AL in Tuesday’s All-Star Recreation, and Darren will stick round.
“It’ll be good simply to see him,” Darren stated.
Dusty Baker, a two-time All-Star throughout a taking part in profession from 1968-86, is thought for his relationships all through the game, his habits that embrace chewing Tea Tree Remedy Toothpicks and a sartorial type with components together with customized wristbands designed by James Mims that image Baker from his days as a participant.
Darren prefers designer arm sleeves below his jersey — Saturday’s had a thunderbolt. He finds it tough to explain what makes his dad so cool.
“For me, it’s simply the connection him and I’ve,“ he stated. ”I really feel like he’s extra like a finest pal, regardless that he’s my dad. Only a respectful man, and he treats everyone the best way he’d need to be handled.“
Jack Leiter has imprecise reminiscences of his father’s taking part in days — he was 5 when Al threw his ultimate pitch.
“I keep in mind being across the clubhouse,” he stated.
Then his father grew to become a broadcaster, and Jack tagged alongside for All-Star Video games and the Residence Run Derby. Along with his dad, Leiter can depend on uncle Mark, a giant league pitcher from 1990-2001, and cousin Mark Leiter Jr., a significant leaguer since 2017 and presently with the Chicago Cubs.
“They inform me about what they assume I have to do some bit extra of, slightly bit much less of. It’s simply one other massive league mindset,“ he stated. “All of them have totally different takes. It’s not simply listening to it from my dad, anymore.”
Darren’s mom, Melissa, has her fill of baseball.
“It’s powerful. It’s such a giant a part of each of our lives. My mother is sort of a superhero,“ Darren stated. ”It’s sort of within the blood, I suppose. Her son and husband are so deep invested into baseball, it’s sort of powerful for her to not be additionally.”
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