Van Slyke making a name for himself

Andy's son named MVP at Southern League All-Star Game

Scott Van Slyke is sixth in the league with a .320 average. (Brian Bissell/

By Brandon Shields / Special to | June 21, 2011 9:59 PM

JACKSON, Tenn. -- At times on Tuesday night, Scott Van Slyke looked like a chip off the old block.

Van Slyke, the son of former Major League outfielder Andy Van Slyke, was named the MVP of the Southern League All-Star Game at Pringles Park after going 2-for-4 with an RBI, a stolen base and a pair of runs scored.

"It's pretty cool to win the MVP," Van Slyke said. "It wasn't really a goal to win it when I came up here, but it's great to have it now."

Van Slyke, an infielder on the Dodgers' Double-A affiliate in Chattanooga, was a link back to the last time Pringles Park hosted the All-Star Game in 1999. At that event, his father played in a special legends game.

"I may have been here with him, but I really don't remember," Scott Van Slyke said. "He did a lot of things like that growing up, so I could've been here."

The younger Van Slyke said he doesn't feel any pressure to try to live up to the legacy his dad built while playing mostly in Pittsburgh. But he does call his dad frequently when he's slumping at the plate.

"I'll call him every once in a while to talk to him when I'm not playing my best for a pointer or two or just for a little motivation," Scott Van Slyke said. "It's great to have that knowledge to tap into when I need to."

The younger Van Slyke may have called his father after the All-Star Game, but it wasn't because of a slump.

The former 14th-round Draft pick started his night with a single in the bottom of the first inning that plated Jake Shaffer of the Jackson Generals with the North Division's first run. He stole second and scored when Steffan Wilson of the Huntsville Stars doubled down the right-field line.

After a grounding out in the third, Van Slyke hit a one-out double to right field in the sixth inning and later scored.

Van Slyke made it to the All-Star Game in his first full season at the Double-A level. He reached Chattanooga for a couple of months last summer, then started this season with the Lookouts.

"It's great to be at this level after spending some time in Rookie ball and struggling a little bit in [Class A]," Van Slyke said. "But I was able to overcome that and get to [Class A Advanced] and eventually here.

"Being at this level is another step to getting to the big leagues, but making the All-Star team has been fun."

Brandon Shields is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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