Publish date:

RISING SONS

Author:

IF THE NAMES—AND GAMES—OF THESE PROMISING PROSPECTS SEEM STRIKINGLY FAMILIAR, IT'S FOR GOOD REASON. THE OFFSPRING OF SOME SEASONED PROS ARE ABOUT TO MAKE THEIR OWN MARKS IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES

VLADIMIR GUERRERO JR.

Blue Jays/3B

VLADIMIR GUERRERO

Four teams, 1996--2011, OF/DH Hall of Fame 2017

The toughest adjustment young Vlad had to make last year wasn't handling older, more experienced pitchers; it was the weather. The native of the Dominican Republic had to get acclimated to playing in the early-spring cold of Lansing, Mich., for Toronto's low A team. Any chill was not apparent in his blazing bat, though, as the 18-year-old slashed .316/.409/.480 in 71 games at Lansing. He continued raking at high A Dunedin in Florida, batting .333, and finished the season with more walks than strikeouts at each level. If, as expected, he gets the nod to move up to the Jays' Double A team in Manchester, N.H., he'll have to tackle frigid temperatures once more. Of course, it won't be long before the top five prospect is suiting up in another chilly clime, north of the border.

FERNANDO TATIS JR.

Padres/Infielder

FERNANDO TATIS

Five teams, 1997--2010, 3B Hit .265 with 50 steals

One of the best prospects in baseball was obtained two years ago in a trade with the White Sox for the low, low price of journeyman pitcher James Shields. The deal might be the best of A.J. Preller's four-year stint as GM of the Padres. The infielder, 19, shares not only a name with his father, but also the potential to kindle as much excitement as Fernando Tatis Sr. did when he hit two grand slams in the third inning for the Cardinals in a game against the Dodgers in 1999. Tatis Jr. jumped to Double A last season after hitting .281/.390/.520 in A ball, and he hit 22 home runs—including one grand slam.

NICK GORDON

Twins/Shortstop

TOM GORDON

Eight teams, 1988--2009, RHP AL saves leader (46) in 1998 with the Red Sox

Just like his older half brother Dee, who started as a shortstop with the Dodgers (and is now a centerfielder with the Mariners), Nick is an infielder by trade. The No. 5 pick in the 2014 draft out of Olympia High in Orlando, the 22-year-old is climbing his way through the Twins' system, hitting .270/.341/.408 at Double A Chattanooga last season, enough to earn an invite to the Futures Game. The majors are within reach, but if Nick can't make it as a shortstop, he could always follow his dad as a pitcher; as a junior in high school, Nick had an 0.78 ERA with 44 strikeouts in 352/3 innings.

BO BICHETTE

Blue Jays/Shortstop

DANTE BICHETTE

Five teams, 1988--2001, OF Four-time All-Star

Had it been up to Dante Bichette Sr., his youngest son wouldn't have followed in his footsteps. "He wanted me to play tennis," Bo says. "I kind of forced myself into baseball." That looks like a good call: The 20-year-old shortstop hit .362/.423/.565 across two levels of A ball last year, winning the Midwest League batting title (.384) and earning the No. 8 spot on Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list. Of course, he might have a pretty mean backhand, too.

CAL QUANTRILL

Padres/Pitcher

PAUL QUANTRILL

Seven teams, 1992--2005, RHP Holds Yankees record for appearances (86), set in 2004

If there is one thing Cal hopes to inherit from his father, it is durability. Paul Quantrill was a mainstay in bullpens across the majors for nearly 15 years, appearing in 80 or more games in four straight seasons, from 2001 to '04. Cal, the eighth pick of the '16 draft out of Stanford, will try to match that reliability as a starter; he started a total of 22 games last season in stints at high A Lake Elsinore and Double A San Antonio. His appearance in a Padres uniform this spring may not be the last time in 2018.