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BASEBALL DRAFT Later picks all in the family



Published: Thu, June 9, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



Picks near the end were of sons of players and managers past and present.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Jose Mesa might play with his son in the majors some day. Ron Gardenhire and Mike Hargrove could get the chance to manage theirs.

The sons of all three former big leaguers were among the handful of familiar names taken Wednesday during the final day of the baseball draft.

Juan Mesa, the 20-year-old son of Pittsburgh's closer, was drafted by the Pirates in the 23rd round.

"I'm proud, because my dream was for him to be a ballplayer and to see what he could do, to see if he can sign as a ballplayer," said the elder Mesa, who recently turned 39. "He'd better make it quick, because I'm not going to stick around forever -- he's got to make it in one or two years."

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound Mesa was expected to be assigned to Pittsburgh's rookie team in Bradenton. The outfielder impressed Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon during a workout out at PNC Park last summer.

"He had a little juice in the bat, and he's a strong kid," McClendon said. "It was pretty interesting. I liked his size, the agility and the bat speed. I think he's got a chance."

Team legacies

The Seattle Mariners took their manager's son, Kent State first baseman Andrew Hargrove, in the 47th round. Hargrove hit .271 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 46 games for the Golden Flashes.

"He's got good power," said Bob Fontaine, Seattle's vice president of scouting.

"He's following in big footsteps because his dad was a good hitter. But he's pretty strong."

The Mariners also drafted Southern California right-hander Brett Bannister, the son of lefty Floyd Bannister, in the 19th round.

Minnesota took Illinois shortstop Toby Gardenhire, the son of the Twins' skipper, in the 41st round. He hit .246 with one homer and 33 RBIs for the Illini.

Also selected during the draft's second day were the sons of Tim Wallach, John Shelby and Astros third-base coach Doug Mansolino.

In the 23rd round, St. Louis took Kansas first baseman A.J. Van Slyke, the second of Andy Van Slyke's sons to be drafted. The Los Angeles Dodgers picked Missouri high school outfielder Scott Van Slyke in the 14th round.

St. Louis brought back a name from the franchise's past, taking Old Dominion second baseman Jesse Schoendienst, the great nephew of Hall of Fame infielder and former Cardinals manager Red Schoendienst, in the 40th round.

In baseball's version of "Mr. Irrelevant," the New York Yankees took Grayson Community College catcher Blake Heym with the final pick of the draft -- No. 1,501.




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