Remember Darren Baker? If the name doesn’t immediately jog the memory, perhaps this will:
That was Baker as a 3-year-old, when his father was managing the San Francisco Giants. Dusty Baker has since gone on to lead the Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds and, now, the Washington Nationals. Throughout it all, Darren has worked on his game in the background, eventually emerging as a potential MLB Draft prospect some 14 years later.
This is Darren Baker now:
He’s still not the biggest ballplayer in the yard — 5-foot-11, 155 pounds — as he readily admits in this interview with Baseball America (BA). But what the younger Baker lacks in size, he makes up for in speed and athleticism. According to BA, Baker turned heads at the Area Code games with his speed, stealing a pair of bases after reaching with a single while starring for the A’s squad.
A Cal commit, Baker recognizes that he could emerge as a MLB Draft prospect with a strong senior campaign. A second baseman and outfielder, he plans to continue playing for Jesuit High just outside Sacramento. And, when he’s not playing himself, Baker will keep absorbing all the baseball knowledge he can from his father and the other stars he’s gains access to, just as he always has.
“I was around Barry (Bonds) when I was 3, 4,” Baker told Baseball America. “And freshman year in high school, I was around Joey Votto and now Bryce Harper. So just learning from those guys and seeing how they conduct themselves really helps me when I get out here and practice and everything like that.
“I’m not the biggest guy. I’m not going to hit homers and stuff, so I’ve just got to use my speed to get on base and score some runs.”