Usually the major drama in the MLB Draft comes in the event’s first 5-10 rounds. At that point the dominant share of the allotted signing bonus pool is all but allotted, leaving only more creative contract structures and players without leverage on the board.
Yet in the 34th round, the Arizona Diamondbacks made what may be the most unique selection in the 2019 Draft, for a couple reasons: 1) they used the pick to honor former Arizona State slugger turned Diamondbacks front office staffer Cory Hahn, and 2) they picked a fourth generation MLB prospect.
Yes, fourth generation. Forget the young Witt’s, Halladay’s and Greer’s of the world. Luke Bell’s family has been here before, four times in fact.
As noted by the Associated Press and Arizona Sports 98.7, Bell — who played at Seton Catholic High School (Chandler, Ariz.) — has had family on his father’s side playing professional baseball dating back to his great-grandfather. His father is Mike Bell, the former MLB third baseman who is now the Diamondbacks’ VP of Player Development. His uncle is Reds manager David Bell. His grandfather is legendary MLB third baseman and manager Buddy Bell, who currently serves as the VP and senior advisor to the GM for the Reds. And, the coup de grace, Bell’s great grandfather is Gus Bell, who was himself an MLB outfielder who suited up for the Pirates, Reds, Mets and Braves.
Four generations, five MLB ballplayers, two managers, one prospect … and a partridge in a pear tree. (just kidding … though one can be forgiven for trying to map out a flow chart of the Bells with all those connections).
It’s perhaps fitting that such MLB royalty be included in the now annual Cory Hahn pick, which honors a talented player whose physical skills were robbed too soon, but who has found a way to contribute since regardless. Hahn announced Bell’s selection during the draft as part of the honorary selection, which harkens back to his own selection in the 34th round by the Diamondbacks after he was paralyzed from the waist down sliding into second base.
As of now it’s unknown whether Luke Bell is willing to sign with his hometown Diamondbacks, or whether he plans to follow through on his commitment to Grand Canyon University. Per 98.7, Bell pitched 55 innings as a senior with a 2.80 ERA and 71 strikeouts.