LOS ANGELES — The McGwire family is set to see the other side of things in one of baseball’s best rivalries.
Mason McGwire, son of 12-time All-Star slugger Mark, was selected in the eighth round of baseball’s amateur draft by the Chicago Cubs on Monday.
Mark spent five of his 16 major league seasons with the rival St. Louis Cardinals, including the memorable 1998 season when he and Cubs star Sammy Sosa raced to break Roger Maris’ single-season home run mark. McGwire ended up with 70 and Sosa with 66 before both of their reputations were tarnished amid steroid revelations.
Mason is a right-handed pitcher out of Capistrano Valley High School in California. The 18-year-old – born several years after Mark’s playing days ended – is committed to the University of Oklahoma, where his 19-year-old brother Max is an infielder. There’s no indication yet if Mason plans to turn pro, but teams seldom use picks in the top 10 rounds on players who they think are unsingable.
Mark was also drafted in the eighth round out of high school in 1981 by the Montreal Expos as a first baseman and right-handed pitcher. He opted to attend college at Southern California, where he led college baseball in home runs in 1984 before being chosen 10th overall by Oakland.
Mason is one of several sons of big leaguers taken in this year’s draft, including the top two picks – Jackson Holliday, son of Matt, went first overall to Baltimore while Druw Jones, son of Andruw, went second to Arizona. Justin Crawford, whose dad was All-Star Carl Crawford, was selected 17th overall by the Philadelphia Phillies.
Here are some other players of note selected during the draft’s second day, when rounds 3-10 were held:
– RHP Nolan McLean, Baltimore: The Orioles hadn’t picked a pitcher before the fifth round since Mike Elias became general manager after the 2018 season, but they bucked that trend by taking McLean to begin the third round. And even then, they picked a guy with a promising bat. McLean was a two-way player at Oklahoma State, hitting 13 home runs while reaching 98 mph on the mound. The O’s announced him only as a right-handed pitcher, so it seems his two-way days might be done.
– RHP Brock Porter, Texas: A day after making the most stunning pick of the first round by taking right-hander Kumar Rocker third overall, the Rangers made another splash in the fourth round with Porter, a high school pitcher from Michigan who ranked 11th overall on MLB.com’s pre-draft rankings. Rocker, who failed to sign with the Mets as a first-rounder last year because of red flags in his physical, is expected to sign a deal for less than the bonus slot accompanying the No. 3 pick. Those savings will likely be spent on Porter, who can throw 100 mph and earned Gatorade’s National Player of the Year with a 0.41 ERA.
– RHP Dylan DeLucia, Cleveland: DeLucia was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player after pitching a four-hit shutout for Mississippi against Arkansas that sent the Rebels to the finals. Ole Miss went on to win its first championship, and now DeLucia is headed to a pro organization known for its ability to develop pitchers.