EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

June 12, 2009

Yaz — The Next Generation: Sox draft Andover grandson of Hall of Famer

ANDOVER — Like grandfather, like grandson.

At least that's what it seemed to be yesterday when the Red Sox announced, with their 36th round pick, that they had chosen Andover resident Michael Yastrzemski, grandson of ex-Red Sox star and Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski.

And where was the recent St. John's Prep graduate when the pick was made? Taking after his grandfather, Yastrzemski was in a boat with two friends Jake Gostanian and cousin Michael Lamagna ... fishing.

"I was nervous. I wanted to get away from the baseball scene. So I went fishing," said Yastrzemski. "It calmed me down ... until my mother called me to tell me I was drafted."

What does the Red Sox drafting Yastrzemski mean?

It means nothing. Yet it means everything.

Yastrzemski has already accepted a partial scholarship to SEC power Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tenn. What happened yesterday doesn't change that.

But being drafted is part of the evolution of a baseball player. Most major leaguers were drafted in high school.

Heck, Tom Brady was drafted in the 18th round by the Montreal Expos as a catcher.

"(The Red Sox scout) said he understood that I was probably going to go to college," said Yastrzemski. "But he also said that I deserved to be drafted. That I had worked hard to get where I am and that I earned it. And that the Red Sox were not wasting a pick on me (because of my name). That was nice to hear."

Amid the phone calls and back slaps, Yastrzemski, 18, said there were times he was melancholy.

Those were the times he thought about his dad, Michael, who died in September 2004 from complications after a surgery.

His father was drafted twice, once after graduating high school (Braves) and the other time after his junior year at Florida State (White Sox). After an All-American run at Florida State his father made it all the way to Triple-A before calling it a career.

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