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Archive for Wednesday, June 6, 2001

Familiar names like Garciaparra plentiful in amateur draft

June 6, 2001

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— The Seattle Mariners saw a familiar name on the draft board and couldn't pass him up.

The Mariners drafted Michael Garciaparra, brother of Boston's Nomar Garciaparra, with the 36th pick in Tuesday's baseball draft. He was one of a handful of players with famous bloodlines selected on the draft's first day.

Others included Arizona outfielder Shelley Duncan, son of St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan; Florida high school first baseman Casey Kotchman, son of Anaheim minor league manager and scout Tom Kotchman; Central Arizona College shortstop Scott Hairston, son of former major leaguer Jerry Hairston and brother of Orioles second baseman Jerry Hairston Jr.

Delaware outfielder Vince Vukovich, son of former major leaguer and Philadelphia third-base coach John Vukovich; and high school righty Brian Pilkington, nephew of former major league pitcher Bert Blyleven, were also drafted Tuesday.

Garciaparra, a 6-foot-1 shortstop out of Don Bosco H.S. in California, missed most of the baseball season after recovering from surgery to repair a torn ACL sustained during a football game.

"He is very similar to his older brother at the same stage of their careers," said Roger Jongewaard, Mariners vice president of scouting and player development. "Michael is a little bigger than Nomar was at the same age, and we like him a lot."

Garciaparra accepted a scholarship offer from Tennessee, but is eager to start a pro career.

"It's a win-win situation for me," Garciaparra said. "If it works out, fine. If not, I will go to college."

Duncan, taken by the New York Yankees in the second round, had Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last season, but rebounded this year to lead the Pac-10 with 24 home runs, 78 RBIs and a .702 slugging percentage. He also set the Wildcats career record with 55 homers.

Kotchman, selected with the 13th overall pick by Anaheim, was considered one of the top high school hitters in the country. He was the anchor of Seminole High School's lineup and scouts project him as a pro power hitter. He is also regarded as a solid defensive first baseman.

Hairston, drafted by Arizona in the third round, is the first triple-crown winner in Arizona community college history, batting .503 with 18 homers and 77 RBIs.

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