Well, it’s a good thing Derek Jeter’s bid to buy the Miami Marlins with Jeb Bush fell through, isn’t it?
That’s because the Marlins selected shortstop/third baseman Joe Dunand in the second round of the MLB draft on Monday night. And Dunand just happens to be the nephew of Jeter’s ex-teammate/frenemy Alex Rodriguez. If recent interactions are any indication, Jeter doesn’t seem to want anything to do with A-Rod these days.
Still, that didn’t stop the Marlins from drafting the kid who refers to A-Rod as “Tio Alex.” The Marlins used the No. 51 overall pick to select Dunand, who grew up in Miami and starred at Gulliver Prep. It was a second-round pick, Miami’s third overall.
From the Sun-Sentinel:
Stan Meek, Marlins vice president of scouting, said Dunand will start out at shortstop but has enough power to eventually shift to third base. He showed some pop with 18 homers this past season as a junior at NC State.
“He’s got real power. He actually looks a little bit like A-Rod in the face. He’s about [6 feet 2] and showed power every year at NC State,” Meeks said. “I’m not saying he’s A-Rod. The body’s a little heavier, he’s not quite as tall. But the actual ease to the way he plays and the way the swing works, you can see some A-Rod in it.”
In his junior year at NC State, Dunand hit those 18 homers with 51 RBIs and a .287 batting average in 59 games. In high school, Dunand caught some attention for homering in eight straight at-bats.
Dunand said hanging around with his uncle in big-league clubhouses influenced his desire to be a pro baseball player. A-Rod told the New York Post about that before the draft:
“It feels like just yesterday he was down in Tampa or at Yankee Stadium, and I was throwing him batting practice when he was 10, 11, 12 years old,” Rodriguez said in a phone interview. “And here he is now right on the steps of hopefully what is a long career for him.”
In other MLB draft news related to A-Rod and Jeter, the Cincinnati Reds drafted a shortstop named Jeter Downs with the 32nd overall pick. He’s also from Miami.
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