<
>

Nationals draft Cal Ripken's son

NEW YORK -- The Washington Nationals selected Ryan Ripken, the son of Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., in the 15th round of the Major League Baseball draft Saturday.

The younger Ripken is a 6-foot-6, 230-pound first baseman from Indian River State College in Florida. The lefty hitter batted .321 with one homer and 24 RBIs in 42 games this season after transferring from South Carolina, where he did not make the roster and redshirted.

He could become a third generation of Ripkens to play in the pros, following in the footsteps of his "Iron Man" father, who was a 19-time All-Star and broke Lou Gehrig's record for consecutive games played; his uncle Bill, who played 12 years in the majors; and late grandfather Cal Sr., who managed in the bigs.

"I think it's great for Ryan to get a chance to go and play," manager Matt Williams said before the Nationals played at San Diego. "I think there's immense pressure on that young man. It's too bad, but I think he handles it really well. You know, dad, uncle, grandfather, great bloodlines, great work ethic. We'll be happy to have him. If he can bring that work ethic to us, it'll be nothing but a benefit."

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

It was a big draft for sons and siblings of 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 Minnesota 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 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 San Francisco. He was a batterymate of first-rounder Touki Toussaint at Florida's Coral Springs Christian Academy.

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

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

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

Several other players with big-league bloodlines were drafted Saturday, including: Drew Stankiewicz (son of Andy, 11th round, Phillies); Kevin Cron (brother of Angels' C.J., 14th round, Diamondbacks); Lukas Schiraldi (son of Calvin, 15th round, Mariners); Jed Sprague (son of Ed, 37th round, White Sox); James Lynch (son of Ed, 39th round, Blue Jays); and Grayson Byrd (son of Paul, 39th round, Braves).

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.