Joe Dunand has shown a knack for hitting home runs much like his uncle at every level so far.
He once hit nine homers in only five games in high school.
As a sophomore in college, Dunand hit six at the College World Series Home Run Derby in Omaha.
And while playing with the Miami Marlins’ major league team in March, Dunand hit one against the Yankees that would have easily cleared the left field wall at Yankee Stadium — the same place his uncle finished his legendary career.
But Dunand doesn’t worry about any expectations that have come with being Alex Rodriguez’s nephew.
“If I was trying to be like him or compare myself to him, I’d get myself in trouble,” Dunand said. “He’s a once in a lifetime talent. I just have to be myself.
Dunand is not the type to reference his famous uncle in conversation nor does he brag about being related to one of the top five greatest home run hitters of all time to his teammates or the media.
“He always seemed like an even keel guy,” said Marlins outfield prospect Brian Miller, a former college rival at North Carolina. “You would never know the A-Rod stuff. He’s not going to go around showing that. I’m sure it could be a bit stressful or annoying having people asking him about it all the time. But he really does a good job handling all of that.
The physical similarities are undeniable, however.
He sounds like A-Rod in both his voice and the mature way he talks about baseball like someone beyond his years.
He looks like A-Rod already at 6-2, 205 pounds, not far off from Rodriguez’s roughly 6-3, 230-pound frame in his prime.
His smooth, even swing reminds many of his uncle’s signature follow through. Dunand, 22, wears the No. 3 on his jersey — the same number Rodriguez wore with the Mariners and Rangers early in his career.