Half of the NL Central teams draft manager's son

Mike Matheny

Nepotism is alive and well in the National League Central -- as half of the division's six teams drafted the son of their manager in this week's draft.

The Cardinals took Tate Matheny in the 23rd round, the Brewers selected Lance Roenicke in the 25th round and the Cubs picked Rustin Sveum in the 39th round of the MLB draft.  Also drafted by the team managed by his father was Cameron Gibson, who was taken by the Diamondbacks in the 38th round on Wednesday, the last day of the 40-round draft.

MLB Draft
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny asked the team not to draft his son, a center fielder who hit .610 with a 1.260 slugging percentage at Westminster High School in St. Louis. The younger Matheny has signed to play at Missouri State and is expected to honor that commitment. Matheny had set a high price and saw his draft stock fall because of his demands, so the Cardinals snatched him up when he was still available on the third day of the draft.

"I thought if he didn't go higher in the draft, in an area where it made sense for him to sign, that they would get him later on, just in case," Mike Matheny told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "I think they were just seeing a kid who was a draftable [prospect], a local kid, and they just wanted to give him an honor. It's a day he'll never forget."

The Cardinals also took third-base coach Jose Oquendo's son, Eduardo, in the 32nd round and Michael Aldrete, son of bench coach Mike Aldrete, in the 39th round. In addition, the team took the son of a minor-league coach and scout in the draft.

Roenicke, son of Brewers manager Ron, is a fifth-year senior outfielder at UC-Santa Barbara. Roenicke hit .310/.361/.462 for the Gauchos, leading the team with four home runs and tied for the lead with 35 RBI. He also stole seven bases.

"It's nice," Ron Roenicke said the day after the Brewers' 10-0 loss to the Cubs (via the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel). "I think any good news now is nice. He's worked hard, had a good year and I'm glad to see he's going to get the chance to play."

Not only did Ron Roenicke play in the big leagues, so did his older brother Gary, whose son Josh is now with the Rockies.

The younger Sveum is scheduled to attend Dixie State College. He played the infield and also pitched.

"He'd better not sign anyway. He'd better going to college," Sveum told the Chicago Sun-Times, before joking, "unless the money's right."

Managers' sons weren't the only one with familial connections, but two general managers saw their sons taken by other teams. Chris O'Dowd, a catcher from Dartmouth, was taken in the 23rd round by the Padres. His father, Dan, is the GM of the Rockies. Braves' GM Frank Wren saw his son, Georgia Tech outfielder Kyle Wren, was taken by the Reds in the 30th round.

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