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Cardinals draft Matheny's, Oquendo's sons

Cardinals draft Matheny's, Oquendo's sons

Cardinals draft Matheny's, Oquendo's sons
ST. LOUIS -- The Cardinals selected outfielder Tate Matheny, son of manager Mike Matheny, on Wednesday in the 23rd round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. The club later added third-base coach Jose Oquendo's son, Eduardo, in the 32nd round, outfielder Derrick May (37th round), son of Minor League hitting coach Derrick May, and right-handed pitcher Michael Aldrete (39th round), son of bench coach Mike Aldrete.

As for drafting players with fathers who have been around the game for many years, Cardinals scouting director Dan Kantrovitz sees that experience as a plus.

"I certainly haven't seen it as a disadvantage," he said.

The elder Matheny said on Tuesday that his son was leaning toward accepting an offer to play at the collegiate level with Missouri State next season after slipping to Day 3 of the Draft. The St. Louis skipper had also said previously he would have preferred if the Cardinals did not draft his son in order to avoid any perceived conflict of interest.

But Kantrovitz and Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak were both in contact with the elder Matheny throughout the Draft on Wednesday.

"Obviously, we would never do anything that was against his wishes," Kantrovitz said. "Their mindset changed as the Draft unfolded a bit. From their standpoint, they wanted to make sure that Tate wasn't drafted as a favor, and he certainly was not. His tools and skills warrant absolutely a Draft pick."

Tate Matheny, whose Westminster Christian Academy team won its second straight Missouri Class 3 championship during his senior year, batted .610 with 10 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers, 51 RBIs and 25 stolen bases this season.

While Tate now likely has an even more difficult decision to make between turning pro or taking the college route, the choice is still very much in the air.

"It's all his decision," the manager said Tuesday in reference to the possibility of his son bypassing college if selected high enough. "I've been impressed with his maturity in that process."

"That's a decision he's going to have to make," Kantrovitz said. "After the pick, they were both just as ecstatic. That made us feel good, and I think we made the right decision."

Kantrovitz said the Cardinals had also been keeping tabs on the younger Oquendo for a couple of years, and had always liked the way he played the game.

"He's a slick-fielding middle infielder, probably not too different from his dad in that standpoint," Kantrovitz said. "He's obviously got excellent bloodlines. I'm not sure at this point whether or not he'll opt for professional baseball. He certainly has the talent to do it if that what he chooses to pursue."

Mike Still is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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