The MLB draft is long. Like, super super long with about a million players getting picked. It's a crapshoot the deeper you go, so teams just pick players that will make a quick headline (like the Cubs drafting a fat kid). What better way to do that than pick a player whose name fans already know?
Shawon Dunston Jr. went to the Cubs, and Dante Bichette Jr. went to the Yankees, and Alex Fernandez Jr. went to the Tigers, and Dwight Smith Jr. went to the Blue Jays, and Rafael Santana's and Charlie O'Brien's sons went to the Dodgers, and Chuck McElroy's son went to the Cardinals, and Pudge Rodriguez's son went to the Twins, and Bobby Bonilla's son went to the Rockies, and Tom Henke's son went to the Nationals, and Steve Garvey's son went to the Phillies, and Charlie Leibrandt's and Kevin Seitzer's sons went to the Rays.
We can get more removed if you want. Bob Geren's son and Ruben Amaro's nephew and John Farrell's son and Colby Rasmus's brother and Don Wakamatsu's son and Al Kaline's grandson and Mike Scioscia's son and Bryce Harper's brother and Brad Arnsberg's son and Eddie Gaedel's great-nephew and Alex Avila's brother and George Scott's grandson and Wayne Gretzky's son and Rudy Ruettiger's nephew were all drafted.
It's nepotism, but it's also good business. The odds of a 30th-round pick turning into anything useful are slim, so why not do a favor for someone in the business? It doesn't even have to be family-related: the Red Sox chose one of "Hank's Yanks," a summer team for underprivileged kids sponsored by the Yankees' owner. Payback for the Yankees banding together to help out the injured daughter of a Red Sox coach? Maybe, and that's OK.
Also OK: spending a draft pick on good PR, and doing something good at the same time. The Rangers and Astros both drafted paralyzed college players, and if it makes those kids happy, and helps pay some medical bills, then no one in the world should fault them for a publicity stunt.
But we're not sure what to make of the drafting of two of Scott Boras's sons by Milwaukee and Oakland. They're legit players, but we can't help but point out that it helps small-market teams to be on Boras's good side. Even teams long associated with Bud Selig and Billy Beane, two men who are no great friends to Boras and what he represents. But: that's the MLB draft, one big contest to see who can make the biggest news with a throwaway pick.