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Cal Ripken, Jr.'s Son Ryan Drafted by Washington Nationals

Jun 8 2014, 9:41pm CDT | by , in News | Latest Sports News

Cal Ripken, Jr.'s Son Ryan Drafted by Washington Nationals
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Ryan Ripken, son of Baltimore Orioles legendary shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., was drafted by the Washington Nationals on June 7.


The Washington Nationals drafted Ryan Ripken, son of legendary Baltimore Orioles shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr., on June 7.

MLB.com's Daniel Popper notes Ryan Ripken was drafted in the 15th round (454th overall) by the Nationals:  

"The Nationals selected first baseman Ryan Ripken, son of former Orioles great Cal Ripken, Jr., in the 15th round (454th overall) of the First-Player Draft on Saturday. 

"Ripken hit .321 with one home run and 24RBIs in 42 games as a freshman for Indian River State (Fla.) College this past season in the National Junior College Athletic Association.

"The 6-foot-6, 230-pound left-handed hitter is a native of Hunt Valley, Md., and played high school baseball at Gillman School in Baltimore.

"Ryan Ripken was drafted in the 20th round of the 2012 Draft by the Orioles, but he opted to sign with South Carolina instead. In the spring of 2013, Ripken did not make the Gamecocks' 35-man roster, and he redshirted to salvage a season of eligibility. He ultimately decided to transfer to Indian River State in June of that year.

"Cal Ripken played 21 seasons in the major leagues, all with the Baltimore Orioles. The shortstop played in 2,632 consecutive games over 16 of those seasons, a record that still stands.

"Ripken finished his career with a .276 batting average and 431 home runs. He won two American League MVP Awards (1983, '91), an AL Rookie of the Year Award (1982) and two Gold Glove Awards (1991, '92) and he made the All-Star Game in 19 straight seasons from 1982 through 2001.

"Manager Matt Williams, who played against Ripken, Jr. in the 1990s, thought it was great that Ryan will get a chance to prove himself in the Nationals organization.

"'There's immense pressure on that young man,' Williams said. 'It's too bad, but I think he will handle it real well. Dude, uncle, grandfather...Great work ethic. We'll be happy to have him. If he can bring that work ethic to us, it will be nothing but a benefit.'"  

According to Adam Kilgore of The Washington Post, the Nationals drafting Ryan Ripken further solidified the relationship between the team and his father. 

"The pick strengthened the burgeoning relationship between the Nationals and Ripken. Last year, Ripken sat with general manager Mike Rizzo during a game. Ripken has had past conversations with Mark Lerner, and he said he respects Nationals ownership. 

"The Nationals never interviewed Ripken for their managerial opening, but they considered it, and Jayson Werth stumped for him.

"The Lerner family and Orioles owner Peter Angelos have an acrimonious relationship, stemming (from) the open-ended dispute over their MASN contract. If the Orioles feel aggrieved by their regional rival nabbing Ripken's son, the Nationals probably wouldn't shed any tears."

The drafting of Ryan Ripken was just one of several selections marked by bloodlines traced to several MLB greats, per ESPN. 

"The sons of former big leaguers Bobby Bonilla, John Franco, Benito Santiago and Magglio Ordonez were also taken as baseball's draft warpped up after three days, 40 rounds and 1,215 players chosen. 

"It was a big draft for sons and siblings of former major league players, starting with Florida high school shortstop Nick Gordon -- son of Tom 'Flash' Gordon and brother of the Dodgers' Dee Gordon -- going fifth overall to (the) Minnesota (Twins) on Thursday night. 

"Brandon Bonilla, a left-handed pitcher from Grand Canyon University, went in the 25th round to Baltimore. The son of Bonilla and godson of Barry Bonds has a fastball that hits the mid-90s. 

"Brown second baseman J.J. Franco, the son of former Mets and Reds closer Franco, was a 38th-round pick by the (Atlanta) Braves. 

"Florida high school lefty Logan Browning went in the 36th round to the Reds, the team for which father Tom once pitched a perfect game. 

"Benito Santiago, Jr. is a star behind the plate, just like his dad, was drafted in the 38th round by (the) San Francisco (Giants). He was a batterymate of first-rounder Touki Toissant at Florida's Coral Springs Christian Academy. 

"Florida high school first baseman Magglio Ordonez, Jr. went in the 38th round to (the) Detroit (Tigers), where his father played for seven years.

 

"Bradley Wilpon, the son of Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon, was a 36th-round choice of (the) Boston (Red Sox).

"Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco's younger brother Tom, a high school outfielder from New Jersey, was a 32nd-round selection of (the) Philadelphia (Phillies)." 

For more of the hottest sports news, log on to Sport Balla today. 

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