The MLB Draft wrapped up Wednesday, with 40 rounds in the books and 1215 players selected.
Most of the attention during the first two days were on the players selected, most of it either premature or uninformed. But on Wednesday, the silliness came.
You might recognize names #Phillies took late in draft. They drafted sons of Dave Brundage, Mickey Morandini, Tom McCarthy & nephew of Amaro— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) June 10, 2015
Yes, that's right, Ruben Amaro drafted his nephew Andrew in the 35th round of the draft, the second year in a row Andrew has been selected by the Phillies. In the 38th round, they went with Beau Brundage, pick #1134. In round 39, they took Griffin Morandini, selection #1164. And finally, in the last round, with pick #1194, the Phils chose Thomas McCarthy.
These were undeniably all nepotism picks, and the Phillies were not shy about it at all. It is almost a 100% guarantee that none of those four players will ever play a meaningful inning for the organization above A-ball.
And people are outraged. Well, some people are outraged, mainly those who can't stand Ruben Amaro's living guts. The pitchforks are out and they want blood, because the Phillies just "threw away" four of their last six draft picks on relatives of team employees.
Yeah, that all sounds bad. Nepotism is generally frowned upon in all walks of life. But please, hear me out on this.
Let it go.
First of all, the Phillies aren't the only team who made nepotistic picks in this year's draft.
Joseph Reinsdorf, grandson of chairman Jerry Reinsdorf, was #WhiteSox final pick. He's not listed on the New Trier baseball roster.— David Just (@davidjustCST) June 10, 2015
As Phillies twitter laments nepotism, my mind harkens back to one Jonathan Scheurholz, 37th round pick, and Kyle Wren, 8th round pick.— Brand Slayer v2.0 (@E11even745) June 10, 2015
Only one nepotism pick that I know of from the Nats. Nice!— Andrew Flax (@AndrewFlaxTNB) June 10, 2015
Nepotism Alert: #Angels slected Jonah Dipoto, son of GM Jerry Dipoto, with 38th-round pick. Jonah played at Newport Harbor HS.— Mike DiGiovanna (@MikeDiGiovanna) June 10, 2015
Guys, I'm not even trying hard here.
Secondly, most of the players that are selected by teams this late in the draft are players the team has NEVER SEEN BEFORE. They're throwing pasta against the wall to see if it'll stick.
Thirdly, there are a limited number of roster spots available for all the players already in the minors as well as their draft picks. It could be that the Phils simply didn't have room for any more players and spent those final picks, which were going to be spent on players they knew nothing about anyway, on kids with a connection to the team.
And finally, it was passed along to me that a lot of these nepotism picks often help get a high school kid a scholarship to college.
Sorry guys. I'm not outraged.
The most well-known late-round nepotism pick is, of course, the Dodgers' selection of Mike Piazza, who was selected in the 62nd round of the 1988 draft as a favor to Tommy Lasorda. Piazza went on to have a Hall of Fame caliber career, but no one expects any of these guys to even sniff the Majors.
Look, I will admit that four nepotism picks is a lot. It's horrendous optics by an organization that is blind to such things.
But to pretend like Amaro and the Phillies were out of line today, or that this was just typical of a "bumbling organization," is just silly.
There are a lot of things to be legitimately upset with this organization over, but this isn't one of them.
Save your powder, guys. It's a long season. Save the outrage for the real stuff.