Marlins draft Alex Rodriguez’s nephew in second round

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The baseball draft is not like the football or basketball drafts. With rare exceptions, no one in the baseball draft is a household name and few if any of them are even moderately well known outside of the fanbase of whatever high school or college team they played for. And, of course, most of them will never even make the big leagues, so the anonymity may be permanent.

But there are always some guys in the draft with family connections to well-known dudes. Like North Carolina State infielder Joe Dunand, who the Marlins selected with the 51st overall pick. He’s Alex Rodriguez’s nephew:

“I’m not saying he’s A-Rod,” said Marlins scouting director Stan Meek. “(But) you can see some of A-Rod in him . . . He’s got raw power,” Meek said. “He actually looks a little bit like A-Rod in the face. Actually, the swing has some similarities (with Rodriguez’s). The body is a little heavier. He’s not quite as tall.”

Not that Dunard was drafted on pedigree and vague, projection-fueled resemblances. He hit .289 with 16 home runs this season for N.C. State and set a high school record a few years back by homering in eight consecutive at bats. A-Rod used to throw batting practice to him and has frequently offered him tips and hitting advice. He could likely also help Dunand with his professional development as he, like his famous uncle, is a shortstop who many believe will shift to third base one day.

Still not too late to get involved in that Marlins sale, A-Rod. If you’re the owner, you could do so much more for your nephew’s future!

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

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PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.