Bourjos excels in the family business

There have been countless baseball families throughout the history of the game: the Boone's, the Bonds', the Ripken's. These families all have produced some of the most talented players and managers that baseball has ever seen.

But aside from the classic major league baseball families, there are hundreds of families in today's game that have made a good career in the minor leagues. For Peter Bourjos, son of major and minor league journeyman Chris Bourjos, having a former player in his father to learn from has certainly helped in getting him to the professional level.

"I just picked his brain all the time," said Bourjos. "Going on road trips and always asking him, ‘What happens in this situation?' He's helped me out when I've been in slumps, because he's been through it."

Chris played parts of seven seasons with the Giants, Orioles, and Phillies organizations, culminating with a call-up to San Francisco in 1980—even starting his career in Cedar Rapids, where Peter currently patrols center field. After retiring from baseball in 1983, Bourjos began a career as a scout with the Blue Jays, Brewers, and the Expos. Having such a good eye for talent (he is credited with signing Roy Halladay) is rare, but is not difficult when you can look inside your own home for professional talent.

Peter was drafted in the 10th round by the L.A. Angels out of Scottsdale, AZ, and immediately began his turn in the family business. Bourjos excelled with the AZL Angels in Rookie Ball, and was promoted to Cedar Rapids before a hand injury slowed his progression, but hasn't affected his game since he has been back. Bourjos is a slender, speedy outfielder, and is using his speed both on base and in the field.

"My speed has helped me all over the place. It really helps my average and keeps it up. I can get a bad jump and make it up right there. I think it helps me get a better jump, because I know I can count on it (speed) and relax. If I get a bad jump I know that I can make it up."

In one particular play in Lansing, Bourjos fielded a deep line-drive to straight-away center field that should have fallen with any other player in the field. Bourjos took one step back and was immediately in full stride before reaching over his head and making the catch at the warning track.

His speed is an above-average tool that can be utilized all over the field. He does not hit for a great level of power, so a move to a corner outfield spot seems out of the question. However, with Bourjos' ability on the base paths and in the field, he should be able to find his way through the system with ease, and add the Bourjos name to the long list of major league families.

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