WASHINGTON — Among the 40 players selected by the Nationals in the 2017 MLB Draft, two names stand out with familiar ties to D.C. sports.
Jake Cousins, a 6-foot-4 right-handed pitcher taken in the 20th round (613th overall), is the cousin of none other than Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins. The younger Cousins, 22, should be signable as a senior out of the University of Pennsylvania.
The Nationals also selected Darren Baker, the 18-year-old son of manager Dusty Baker, in the 27th round (823rd overall). The Nats skipper took a weekend series off against the Padres two weeks ago to attend Darren’s graduation from Jesuit High School in Carmichael, Ca.
Darren once served as an honorary bat boy for the Giants — his father’s former team — as a three-year-old during the 2002 World Series, and was famously rescued from a near home-plate collision by J.T. Snow.
The 5-foot-11 shortstop is committed to play at Cal and is not expected to sign with the Nats.
The Nationals tend to lean on bloodlines in the later rounds of the draft. Sons of other former Major Leaguers drafted by the organization include: Ryan Ripken (15th round, 2014), Cody Dent (22nd round, 2013), Mariano Rivera, Jr. (4th round, 2015).
Only Rivera — currently assigned to Class-A Potomac — is still with the organization. Cutter Dykstra and Tony Gwynn, Jr. — both drafted by Milwaukee — are two other legacy players who have come through the organization.