Unlike his son, Jose Cano did not have much time in the spotlight and certainly did not put up superstar numbers in the majors. In 1980, 21 years before they would draft his son, the Yankees drafted the elder Cano but released him soon thereafter. A right-handed pitcher, Jose did not make his Major League debut until 1989 – his only year in the big leagues. Starting three games and appearing in a total of six for the Astros, he went 1-1 with eight strikeouts and a 5.09 ERA.
Jose Cano is probably best known by Yankees fans for his role in the 2011 Home Run Derby. Because Jose regularly pitches to him in the offseason and is still very much involved in his son’s baseball life, Robinson Cano had his father fly in from Dominican Republic so that he could throw to him in the Derby, which he ended up winning in dramatic fashion, hitting a record 12 home runs in the final round to defeat Adrian Gonzalez.
Cano has since continued his home run-smashing ways and is currently serving as interim leader of a 2013 Yankees team that has thus far been marred by injury and shortcomings. Leading the Yanks in both home runs (16) and RBI (42), Cano has certainly stepped up to the added responsibility of leading the team’s offense – something which, coming into the season, many were unsure he would be able to do.
One of Cano’s teammates, catcher Austin Romine, also has a father with some Major League experience. Kevin Romine was an outfielder in the Red Sox organization from 1985-1991. Playing in a total of 331 games for the BoSox, the elder Romine finished his career with five homers, 55 RBI, a .251 average, and a .306 OBP.
A second-round draft pick of the Yanks, Austin has seen much more time than expected in 2013, after the injury to Francisco Cervelli in late April. Before joining the big-league club, Romine was described by many as being great behind the plate but questionable up at bat, and he has lived up to that description. In 22 games with the Bombers in 2013, he has a perfect fielding percentage with no errors or passed balls, but he also sports a .132 batting average and.148 OBP.
Like Romine, Cecil Fielder had a perfect fielding percentage while with the Yankees – though the primary DH only took the field in 17 of the 151 games he played with the Yanks. Cecil, a three-time All-Star with over 300 career home runs and 1000 RBI, used to take his son, Prince, with him to batting practice throughout his career, and there are multiple stories of his son having a knack for hitting at a very young age.
Years later, Prince Fielder still has that knack for hitting and is still following in his father’s footsteps. Like his father, Prince is now flourishing with the Detroit Tigers. And, although playing much of his career in the National League where he had to play first base, Prince is now comfortably putting up huge power numbers as a DH, just like his dad.
Currently hitting .292 with 12 home runs and 54 RBI, Prince is on pace for another stellar season, albeit in the shadow of the best player in Major League Baseball. At only 29 years of age, it is likely the younger Fielder will surpass his father’s impressive power numbers – Prince already has 272 homers and 818 RBI through his nine-year professional career.
Although such a great hitter does well against most teams, Fielder does exceptionally well against the Yankees. In the beginning of the season, he hit two homers and drove in seven runs in a three-game series versus the Bombers. Lifetime against the Yanks, Fielder is 18-57 (.316) with a .596 slugging percentage, five home runs and 15 RBI. Luckily for Yankees fans, Prince won’t be playing the team again until August 9, when the Tigers come to Yankee Stadium for a three-game bout.
While he is certainly no slugger like Prince, Peter Bourjos loves facing Yankees pitching, too – as he demonstrated in the Bombers’ last series in Anaheim. In said series, the speedy outfielder went 5-13 (.385) with two runs scored, a stolen base and an RBI – the latter coming off of Mariano Rivera in that too-close-for-comfort, five-run ninth inning of the series finale.
Peter Bourjos is the son of Chris Bourjos, who was also an outfielder and played 13 games with the Giants in 1980. In those 13 games, the elder Bourjos hit one home run and two RBI, finishing his short-lived Major League career with a lackluster .227 average.
The younger Bourjos and the Angels don’t play the Yankees until August 12, when they, too, come to the Stadium for a matchup against the Yanks.