Pirates select skipper's son on Day 2
Brian Tracy selected in 20th round, hopes to play for his father
PITTSBURGH -- The last time Brian Tracy was coached by his father was when he played on his middle school basketball team.
Now he hopes to one day play for his dad, Pirates manager Jim Tracy, in the Major Leagues after Pittsburgh drafted him in the 20th round of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday.
"This is an unbelievable feeling," Brian Tracy said. "I'm really excited to be a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, and the fact that my dad is the manager and I could possibly someday play for him makes it even more special."
Brian, a right-handed pitcher, pitched at the University of California Santa Barbara and went 1-3 with a 5.03 ERA in 19 appearances (seven starts) this season, but Jim said his son's ability is not reflected in those numbers.
"He has the size at [6-foot-5]," Jim said. "He has the know-how. It hasn't always correlated at the college level like it should have, but he's an interesting project and how it turns out, that remains to be seen."
Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield said the club is excited to add Brian to the fold because he is a solid pitcher and a player who has a vast knowledge of the game.
"[Brian], of course has been around the game a long time," Littlefield said. "He's someone that we're anxious to get into the organization."
The knowledge Littlefield cites came largely from spending summers with his dad. Brian said he learned the game by sitting in Major and Minor League dugouts and soaking in the strategy and the nuances of the game as his father coached.
"I guarantee you that's where a majority of my progress came from," Brian said. "I learned the game. That's one of the biggest assets that I have now. I know the game pretty well from having sat there and just keeping my mouth shut. I just tried to watch and learn what these guys do, and learn why my dad is making certain moves. Just sitting and listening in the dugout ... helped me profoundly as I've gone through my baseball career."
|1. TB||LHP||David Price||Vanderbilt U|
|2. KC||SS||Michael Moustakas||Chatsworth HS (Calif.)|
|3. CHC||3B||Josh Vitters||Cypress HS (Calif.)|
|4. PIT||LHP||Daniel Moskos||Clemson U|
|5. BAL||C||Matthew Wieters||Georgia Tech|
|6. WSH||LHP||Ross Detwiler||Missouri St U|
|7. MIL||LF||Matthew LaPorta||U Florida|
|8. COL||RHP||Casey Weathers||Vanderbilt U|
|9. ARI||RHP||Jarrod Parker||Norwell HS|
|10. SF||LHP||Madison Bumgarner||South Caldwell HS|
Brian credits his father for instilling a drive to improve and always do the best he can. Jim expected to see that from his middle school basketball players, Major Leaguers and of course, his son. Brian said it's a quality that has made him never satisfied with himself, and helped him develop a strong work ethic and become the professional baseball player he now is.
"I expect more from myself when I go out onto the field than anybody can possibly expect from me; I expect perfection," Brian said. "I could go out there and throw a good game, but be disappointed with my walks."
But that desire to be perfect is something Brian feels on his own. Despite coming from a baseball family -- his brother, Chad, was drafted in the third round by Texas last year, and his youngest brother, Mark, is playing baseball at Pepperdine -- he has felt no pressure from his family to play baseball and none to be successful.
"I probably put undue pressure on myself, but there's never been any pressure from my family," Brian said. "They've always said, 'Play because it makes you happy, play because you want to play.'"
Now that he is a member of the Pirates organization, Brian knows there is a chance he will be able to play baseball for his dad for the first time. It's a tantalizing thought, but one that he keeps in the back of his mind because he knows how difficult it will be to get to the Major Leagues.
"I've got a long way to go, so I'm just going to concentrate on taking it step-by-step," Brian said. "If that happens, it would be a dream come true."
Jeremy Anders is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.