Mariano Rivera’s son, Iona College right-hander Mariano Rivera Jr., was drafted by the Nationals in the fourth round. He was previously drafted by the Yankees in the 29th round last year and decided to go back to school for another season, which worked out pretty well.
Rivera Jr. doesn’t throw a cutter, which seems like a shame, but he does have a fastball that reaches the mid-90s and what James Wagner of the Washington Post describes as a “power slider.”
Here’s what Nationals scouting director Kris Kline told Wagner about the team’s new pitching prospect:
The fact that Mariano’s kid is as good as he is right now, I’m sure his father had a lot to do with that. He has the genes there. He’s not a tall kid, but he’s got big shoulders, long arms, big hands, and that really helps as far as the durability for his size.
Rivera Jr. figures to sign for around $400,000 and told Wagner he doesn’t regret not ending up with the Yankees because “any team that picked me, I’d be loyal to them.”
(Check out the rest of Wagner’s well-done profile for more on Rivera Jr.)