Gators’ JJ Schwarz in Baseball Because of his Father

JJ Schwarz is currently helping the Florida Gators make a strong run at returning to the College World Series.  The junior catcher turned down a chance to enter professional baseball out of high school after being drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 17th round of the 2014 MLB Draft.  His wait is paying off for him.

JJ is the son of Jeff Schwarz, a former major-league for the Chicago White Sox and California Angels during 1993-1994.  Jeff then worked in the Miami Marlins organization as a minor league coach and pitching coordinator.

JJ attributes his interest in baseball directly to his father’s influence at a very young age.

Read more about JJ Schwarz at the link below from seccountry.com:

https://www.seccountry.com/florida/jj-schwarz-found-swing-gave-floridas-baseball-season-jolt

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Benito Santiago Jr. Got Good View of Baseball as ML Batboy

Benito Santiago Jr. is currently playing baseball at the University of Tennessee, after passing on the opportunity to play pro baseball in 2014 when he was selected in the MLB Draft by the San Francisco Giants in the 38th round.

His father, Benito, was a major-league player from 1986 to 2005, appearing with nine teams, but primarily with the San Diego Padres. Santiago Sr. was National League Rookie of the Year in 1986 and was a five-time All-Star.

When he was seven years old, Benito Jr. served as batboy for one of his father’s team, the Giants, so he got a good chance to experience professional baseball at a very early age.  He plays catcher like his father, who was a Gold Glove winner at the position for three seasons.

For more information about Benito Santiago Jr., see the link below from The Barnstable Patriot:

http://www.barnstablepatriot.com/news/20160729/catcher-benito-santiago-jr-makes-his-own-name-for-hyannis

Sheffield Brothers are Top Pitching Prospects

Jordan and Justus Sheffield are making their names in baseball as top pitchers.

Jordan passed up the major leagues out of high school to sign with  Vanderbilt University.  He is currently one of the top pitchers in the SEC and is expected to be a future first-round pick.

Younger brother Justus passed up college and signed a professional contract with the Cleveland Indians after being selected in the first round of the 2014 MLB Draft.

The brothers are the nephews of former major league all-star Gary Sheffield.

Read more about the Sheffield brothers at the link below from The News & Advance:

http://www.newsadvance.com/sports/hillcats/brothers-in-arms-sheffield-siblings-thriving-in-baseball/article_cdc6403a-8ebb-513f-ab4e-b126904c02ea.html

 

Reid-Foley Brothers Help Each Other Out

Siblings often grow up as rivals, especially in playground sports.  However, in the case of Sean and David Reid-Foley, the two professional baseball players looked to each other during spring training for support.

Sean plays in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, after having been drafted in the second round of the 2014 MLB Draft.  The 20-year-old power pitcher is now playing for Lansing, a Single-A affiliate of the Blue Jays.

Sean’s brother David is also a pitcher and plays in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.

To read more about the Reid-Foley brothers, follow the link below from Sportsnet:

http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/brothers-in-blue-jays-sean-reid-foley-gets-help-from-sibling-in-dodgers-system/

Mets Rookie Conforto Comes From Athletic Bloodlines

New York Mets rookie Michael Conforto is playing in the 2015 Major League World Series in only his second professional season.  He was the Mets’ first-round pick (10th overall) in the 2014 MLB Draft.

Conforto comes from an athletic family.  His father played football for Penn State in the late 1970s, and was a linebacker on two teams that finished in the top 5 in the nation.  Conforto’s mother, Tracie Ruiz, was a gold medalist on the 1984 USA Olympic team in the synchronized swimming event.

Conforto was good enough in high school football to attract some interest from Division I schools, but chose to play baseball at the University of Oregon instead.

Read more about the Conforto family at the link below from philly.com:

http://articles.philly.com/2015-10-09/sports/67232960_1_penn-state-beaver-stadium-new-york-mets

Derek Hill Influenced by Father to Play Baseball

Derek Hill is in his second professional season in the Detroit Tigers organization, after being a first round selection in the 2014 MLB Draft.  Signing with the Tigers out of high school, he still has work to do to improve his game, especially with his fielding.

Derek’ decision to pursue a baseball career  was influenced by his father, Orsino HIll, a former first-round pick of the Cincinnati Reds in the 1982 MLB January Draft, who toiled for eleven seasons without reaching the major leagues.  Now, Orsino is a major league scout.

Read more about Derek Hill at the link below from baseballessential.com:

http://www.baseballessential.com/news/2015/05/08/prospect-derek-hill-working-hard-tigers-center-fielder-future/

Tyler Servais Hopes to Follow His Father in Pro Baseball

Tyler Servais is currently a catcher for Princeton University.  He is the son of Scott Servais, who was a major league catcher for eleven seasons from 1991 and 2001.  Tyler was drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 2014 MLB Draft, but chose to return to Princeton for his senior season.

Tyler hopes to follow in his father’s footsteps as a big league catcher; but he also has developed a passion for politics and his keeping that option open as a possible career.

Read more about Tyler Servais at the link below from the Columbia Daily Spectator:

http://columbiaspectator.com/sports/2015/04/09/princeton-tigers-Tyler-Servais-provides-challenge-for-columbia-baseball