Yaz’s grandson a Vandy dandy

At 45-6, the Vanderbilt baseball team is arguably the best in

the nation, and while some of the Commodores’ stars may be

several years from becoming household names, one of them has a name

you most certainly already know — even if you can’t

spell it.

Mike Yastrzemski is a left-handed,

href="http://www.vucommodores.com/sports/m-basebl/mtt/mike_yastrzemski_468833.html"

target="_blank">senior outfielder for the Commodores, who seem

primed to make the second College World Series in program

history.

Yastrzemski has started all 51 games for Vanderbilt, which is

riding a 12-game winning streak following a weekend sweep of

Kentucky, and is hitting a career-high .333 with three home runs

and 36 RBI.

He’s also, as you might have guessed, the grandson of Red

Sox legend Carl Yastrzemski, who played in 18 All-Star games, won

seven Gold Gloves and rode one historic triple crown season to the

1967 MVP.

When he was in eighth grade, Mike Yastrzemski’s father, a

former minor leaguer also named Mike, died of a heart attack. Since

he was 14, the younger Mike has been working with his Hall of Fame

grandfather to develop his skills at the plate and become a better

all-around player. He even helped him shake a slump earlier this

season.

“When he was struggling, he had his hands close to his

body,” Carl Yastrzemski told The New York Times, which

href="http://wap.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/sports/baseball/a-younger-yastrzemski-makes-his-way-at-vanderbilt.html?from=sports"

target="_blank">published a lengthy feature on the Yastrzemski

family over the weekend. “He was putting too much weight on

his back leg; he was all tied up. I talked to him on the phone

after the game and, bam, he went on a tear.”

Mike Yastrzemski was also part of the only other Vanderbilt team

to reach the College World Series (in 2011), and this year’s

club looks capable of winning it all. After that, he’ll shift

his focus to his career — and with a name like Yastrzemski,

expectations will always be high.

A 30th-round pick by the Seattle Mariners in last year’s

MLB draft, Yastrzemski chose to decline a $300,000 signing bonus to

stay in school.

In this year’s draft, which takes place June 6-8,

he’s projected to go in the top 15 rounds, though he’s

far from a can’t-miss prospect.

One anonymous scout

href="http://wap.nytimes.com/2013/05/12/sports/baseball/a-younger-yastrzemski-makes-his-way-at-vanderbilt.html?from=sports"

target="_blank">told the Times that Yastrzemski would have to

“overachieve” to reach the majors. But even his

grandfather didn’t break out until that ’67 season, when he led the

league with a .326 batting average, 44 homers and 112 RBI as a

27-year-old veteran.

With a legacy like that, you’ve got to like his

chances.