MLB Power Rankings: The Top 10 Brother Talent Gaps in Baseball History
The Seattle Mariners recently signed Moises Hernandez to a minor league contract. Not a huge deal, right? Well, he's the brother of reigning AL Cy Young Felix Hernandez.
I'll get into more specifics on that later in the next slide.
I started to think, though. How many other brother combinations have there been, and how often did the shared genes translated to shared talent? The best duo was Lloyd and Paul Waner, who are both Hall of Famers.
After that, there were some combos who both played in the major leagues, but it became apparent that sharing the same parents is about all most of these guys had in common.
This list will be solely for brothers who had large disparities in baseball talent. For a related piece, check out Asher Chancey's top 50 list that looks at all sports and relatives.
10. Moises Hernandez
Felix Hernandez's face lit up with glee at FanFest when discussing the signing. So naturally, off I scuttled to the web excited to see if this would be the next phenom.
While I had figured (or hoped) Moises Hernandez would be the younger sibling, he's actually the King's big brother, apparently having abdicated and allowing Felix to take the throne.
When Felix made his major league debut at 19 years old in 2005, Moises was 21 and hadn't even thrown a pitch in the minor leagues yet.
It wasn't until the following season that Moises played in America.
In 2011, Moises will report to minor league camp with the Mariners. He and his kid brother can grab some local fare and drink beers after camp together. Then maybe he'll play for the AquaSox so he can hang around a little longer.
9. Mike Glavine
Drafted in 1995 by the Indians, Mike would spend three seasons in what appears to be an obligatory stint in the minor league system of a more talented brother.
He never did play for the Braves, and would finally get that crack in the big leagues after a stint in the independent leagues and then some time in the Mets' farm system.
When called up in September of 2003, he got to play with his brother. In a game against the Expos, Tom was on the hill and Mike got a pinch-hit at-bat to make his major league debut.
That was pretty much it for him, though. He spent another season in AAA and then called it a career at age 31.
8. Ozzie Canseco
While the Twitter version is fake, Ozzie is very much real.
He was actually drafted by the Yankees as a pitcher, but by the time he reached the majors he was an outfielder.
He showed some power in the minor leagues with a couple 20-plus home run seasons, but it wasn't sustainable and didn't translate during his short time in the Show.
He played in 24 big-league games over a three-year span with the Athletics, alongside his brother, and the Cardinals.
I reached out to Jose to find out what it was like playing with his twin brother.
7. Rich Murray
Unlike some of the other cases, they didn't play for the same organization. While Eddie was in Baltimore, Rich got his chance with the Giants.
He played 53 games during his first trip to the show in 1980. He didn't blow anyone away with talent, but it could have been worse. He had four home runs while hitting and getting on base at a replacement-level pace.
His only other crack came three years later, when he played in four games with little to show for it.
He was still only 25, but after two more seasons in the minors, he retired.
6. Stephen Larkin
In 1997 at age 23, Stephen had his best season in A ball with 23 doubles, 10 triples and 13 home runs. He showed some power and speed.
The following season, Stephen found himself playing alongside his brother in Cincinatti.
The problem is that his trip lasted only one game. It wasn't a total waste, as he did get a hit, so he can rightfully claim to be a career .333 hitter.
Another neat aspect was that while Stephen played first base and Barry was at his normal shortstop, brothers Brett (second base) and Aaron Boone (third base) were also present. It's the only time in baseball history that two sets of brothers were on the field at the same time.
After that game, he went back to the minors for three seasons, then closed out his career with two seasons playing independent ball.
5. Frank, Jim, Joe and Tom Delahanty
Of all the great players mentioned in this list of brotherly disparity, none had two listed. Or three. Or four.
Ed Delahanty was inducted into the Hall of Fame after a career spent mostly with the Phillies.
His four less-talented brothers combined for just over half the home runs he did in their careers, mostly thanks to relative success of brother Jim.
4. Craig Griffey
Craig Griffey shared some traits with his father and brother. The big smile, the athletic body.
Unfortunately, he didn't share the pure talent. Except for 55 games in the Reds system, Craig spent his seven years of professional ball toiling on the farm for the Mariners.
His 11 home runs and career .603 OPS in the minors show the disparity in talent from his big brother, which left the Mariners settling for only two Griffeys in their lineup.
While he got to play in some Cactus League games with his brother, Craig never made it past AAA and retired from baseball after the 1997 season at the age of 26.
3. Joe Evers
In the early days of baseball, there was a scrappy second baseman named Johnny Evers. He'd be inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Old Timers committee.
He was the older brother to Joe Evers, who had one very short crack at the major leagues.
You'd think he was off to a good start, being called up in September of his rookie campaign. He was sent in as a pinch runner during that one game he played.
Seven years of minor league ball later, he retired having never played in the Show again.
2. Bobby Bonds, Jr.
When your dad was an excellent big league player and your brother is the game's all-time home run champion, the genes have to be on your side, right?
Not in the case of Bobby Bonds Jr.
In 11 minor and independent league seasons, Bobby Jr. hit 61 home runs. His brother, as we know, hit more than that in one season in the big leagues.
He was up and down from Rookie to AAA, back to A, fought his way back up to AAA and then down and back up two more times.
His roller-coaster career ended with four seasons in the independent Atlantic League, where he saw the bulk of his success.
1. Larry Yount
This one befuddled me a bit at first.
Looking at the stat sheet for Larry Yount, you see that he pitched in one game. He gave up no hits, no walks, didn't hit anyone and had no ERA.
What the heck did he do?
As it turns out, this is actually kind of a heart-breaking story for anyone who had dreams of playing in the big leagues.
As a September call-up for the Astros in 1971, the 21-year-old older brother of Robin Yount was called in from the bullpen with a 4-1 deficit to the Braves.
His major league debut lasted as long as a few warm up tosses. His arm got tight and he couldn't go.
"I went to the mound and took a couple of tosses," he later said, "but (the elbow) continued to hurt, so I came out."
The elder Yount wouldn't pitch again that year. He narrowly missed the cut to make the big league squad in 1972. He was eventually traded to the Brewers where he may have had a chance to play with his brother but, after an eight-year minor league career, he was off to Arizona to get into real estate.
As I sit here trying to think of a clever analogy, I can't. There is no analogy for this.
You can say you were a major leaguer, but not really.
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