Canaan, a Pirates rookie and older brother of Jaxon, drove in the first run of his MLB career against the Boston Red Sox. Smith-Njigba was just a couple of feet away from his first career home run but had to settle for an RBI double after he crushed a pitch off the Green Monster.
Canaan was drafted out of high school by the New York Yankees in 2017. He was traded to the Pirates in 2021 and made his major league debut with the Pirates last June.
While Canaan made it to the pros first, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is on paper the more talented brother in his respective sport. Despite appearing in just three games last season for Ohio State, Jaxon is expected to be selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL draft. He was one of the best wide receivers in college football in 2021, as he caught 95 passes for 1606 yards and nine touchdowns. A hamstring injury kept him off the field for most of the 2022 season.
It's always impressive to see brothers make it professionally as athletes. It's even more impressive when they do it in different sports, as is the case with the Smith-Njigba brothers. Canaan won't be able to attend the draft to hear his brother's name called, but wherever Jaxon ends up, expect Canaan to return the favor this fall and be there for some of his younger brother's career firsts in the NFL. Maybe the two can buy an apartment together in Pittsburgh if the Steelers select Jaxon.