For the second time in as many years, the son of legendary closer Mariano Rivera heard his name called on Draft Day.
But unlike last year, when the Iona College pitcher was selected by the New York Yankees in the 29th Round, Mariano Rivera III was taken much earlier.
“I’m happy for him and I’m sure it’s a really proud moment for big Mo,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I hope the young man has a very successful career. Obviously, he comes from a great baseball background, but I’m sure it’s just a great day for the Rivera family.”
This thing isn’t just about the future Hall of Famer however. Make no bones about it…the Junior Rivera can actually pitch. Mariano III set a school record with 113 strikeout in 85 innings this year for the Gaels. Overall, he was 5-7 with a 2.65 ERA. He was also named the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s pitcher of the year.
Alright, back to Pops for a second. Kinda.
Should Mariano III ink a deal with the Washington Nationals, the team will have the sons of three of baseball’s all-time greats in their minor league system. Tony Gwynn Jr. is currently an outfielder for Triple-A Syracuse and Ryan Ripken is playing rookie ball in the Gulf Coast League.
Coincidentally, Nationals skipper Matt Williams’ grandfather Bert Griffith played six games for, you guessed it…the Washington Senators back in 1924.