With Roger Clemens participating in the Texas League Home Run Derby, and pitching to his talented son Koby, I thought I'd re-run a story about Koby (and Lenny Dykstra's son Cutter) and his recent success.
Upon mentioning the talent and success of Koby Clemens or Cutter Dykstra, you will likely hear a snarky reference to their fathers. What a shame. Both young men are doing so well this season and are clearly doing their job right.
First baseman Koby Clemens is hitting .256, with 17 walks for Double-A Corpus Christi (Astros). 9 of his 33 hits are doubles. The 24-year-old's .526 SLG percentage is second in the Texas League. With RISP he's hitting a healthy .364. He's following up a hugely successful 2009 season, in which he finished with 51 walks and (count 'em) 123 RBI. He was named the MILB Class-A Advanced Hitter of the Year.
Cutter Dykstra is enjoying a four-game hitting streak for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Brewers) of the Midwest League. The 21-year-old second baseman is hitting .333 with 5 walks and 11 hits. In 209 at-bats in 2009, he scored 35 runs and worked 27 walks for Class-A Helena.
It's one thing to live in the shadow of their success, particularly with Clemens. While Dykstra was a very good player and had a few excellent years - not to mention was a whole lot of fun to watch - he wasn't the living legend Clemens is. He's become a symbol of what is now known as the steroid era. But Dykstra and Clemens have both been lightning rods for controversy in their personal lives. Both men stand accused of shady relations, be it business or women, and have been painted in a harsh light.
It is hard enough for a young player to stay mentally strong and learn how to keep his mind free of distractions. But when they're up against their fathers perceived failures, there's a whole other world of pressure they don't need.
Failure is part of it. Learning from failure is the key. Don't let their fathers lives unfairly define them. Especially when Koby Clemens and Cutter Dykstra are proving their worth.