Lance McCullers Jr. One of Astros’ Core of Young Stars

Lance McCullers Jr. pitched in some big games during the 2017 post-season.  His best performance came in Game 7 of the American League Championship Series when he threw four over-powering innings to help the Astros clinch the pennant.

McCullers was in his third pro season with the Astros this year, making his first All-Star team.  He is one of the bright young stars of the Astros, which also includes George Springer, Jose Altive, Carlos Correa, and Alex Bregman.

He is the son of Lance McCullers Sr., former major-league relief pitcher from 1985 to 1992 with the Padres, Yankees, Tigers, and Rangers.  His career was cut short at age 28 because of blocked artery in his shoulder.

To read more about Lance McCullers Jr., follow the link below from the The New York Times:

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Cody and Clay Bellinger Share World Series Experiences

Cody Bellinger didn’t initially figure into the Los Angeles Dodgers 2017 plans, but made the most of a call-up  opportunity when regular first baseman Adrian Gonzalez went on the DL early in the season.  Bellinger wound up setting a National League record for most home runs (39) by a rookie.

He was one of the keys to the Dodgers getting to their first World Series since 1988.  Although Bellinger didn’t have a good Series, he has a common experience in the Fall Classic with his father Clay Bellinger who was a member of the New York Yankees post-season teams from 1999 to 2001, including a World Series championship team in 2000.

For more information about Cody and Clay Bellinger, follow the link below from The New York Post:

http://nypost.com/2017/11/03/bellingers-have-ruled-october-baseball-for-almost-20-years/

 

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Aims to Follow His Brother to the Majors

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the younger brother of Houston Astros first baseman Yuliesky (Yuli) Gurriel, who helped the Astros capture their first-ever World Series ring.

He continues the baseball tradition set by brother and his father, Lourdes Sr., who was a prominent player and coach in Cuban professional baseball.

Lourdes Jr. signed a major-league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays in November 2016 in a deal worth $22M over seven years.  The 23-year-old split his first professional season with Class A Dunedin and Class AA New Hampshire in the Blue Jays system.

To read more about Lourdes Gurriel Jr. follow the link below from The Sporting News:

http://www.tsn.ca/gurriel-jr-rode-highs-lows-of-brother-s-world-series-chase-1.904896

 

Kowano Brothers Managed Major League Clubhouses

Yosh and Nobe Kawano emerged from concentration camps for the Japanese during World War II to become long-standing employees of two of the most historic major-league franchises.  They didn’t play baseball themselves, instead holding jobs that made sure major-league clubhouses were in tip-top shape to support the ballplayers.

Yosh spent nearly 65 years in the clubhouses at Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs, while Kawano had a similar job in the Dodgers organization.  Both brothers are now in their mid-90s.

To read more about the Kowano brothers, follow the link below from the Chicago Tribune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/ct-met-cubs-kawano-brothers-20171016-story.html

 

Jayson Werth is Fourth-Generation Player in his Family

Washington Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth comes from a family rooted in baseball.  He completed the 15th major-league season of his career, which includes stints with the Toronto Blue Jays, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Philadelphia Phillies in addition to the Nationals.

Jayson comes from a baseball family which includes four generations.  His great-grandfather, John Schofield, was a minor-league shortstop from 1924 to 1938.  His grandfather, Dick “Ducky” Schofield, was a member of the World Champion Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960, and played a total of 19 seasons in the big leagues.  His uncle, Dick Schofield, played 14 seasons in the majors, primarily with the California Angels.

Jayson’s stepfather is Dennis Werth who is married to his mother, Kim Schofield, who competed in the 1976 Olympic trials in track and field.  Dennis played in the majors from 1979 to 1982.

To find out more information about Jayson Werth, follow the link below from the Chicago Tribune:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-cubs-nationals-playoff-jayson-werth-family-farm-met-20171009-story.html

Yuli Gurriel’s Baseball Lineage has Cuban Roots

Houston Astros first baseman Yuliesky Gurriel is a 33-year-old rookie this year.  The reason for his late start in the major leagues is that he defected from Cuba in early 2016, along with his brother Lourdes Jr.

Before coming to the United States, Yuli had a 15-year career in Cuba, where he played professionally and helped the national team win gold medals in the 2004 Olympics and the World Cup in 2003 and 2005.

He is the son of Lourdes Gurriel Sr., who was a long-time player and coach in Cuba.  Yuli’s brother signed a professional contract with the Toronto Blue Jays last November and played in their farm system this season.

To read more about Yuli Gurriel’s career, follow the links below:

http://m.startribune.com/astros-gurriel-goes-from-cuban-star-to-world-series-hopeful/451787383/?section=sports

http://www.torontosun.com/2017/10/17/gurriel-brothers-keeping-in-touch-during-mlb-playoffs

Fernando Tatis Jr. Getting Off to Good Start

18-year-old Fernando Tatis Jr. always had baseball in his sights as his profession.  He began his pro career last year in the San Diego Padres organization.  This season he has put up good numbers including 22 home runs, 77 RBI, and .278 batting average.  He led all Padres minor leaguers with 242 total bases.

Fernando’s father, Fernando Tatis Sr. was a major leaguer from 1997 to 2010, including stints with the Rangers, Cardinals, Expos, Orioles, and Mets.  He compiled a career .265 average, 113 home runs, and 448 RBI.

For more information about Tatis Jr., follow the link below from the San Diego Union Tribune:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/sports/padres/sd-sp-padres-fernando-tatis-jr-groomed-for-big-future-in-baseball-20170928-story.html