The New York Yankees had so much success with one Mariano Rivera that they figured it would be wise to bring another on board.
In the 29th round of the 2014 MLB draft (No. 872 overall), the Yankees selected right-hander Mariano Rivera Jr., the son of the legendary closer:
CBS Sports joked about the 20-year-old's pedigree:
With their 29th round pick, the Yankees select Mariano Rivera Jr. Good bloodlines, I hear.— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) June 7, 2014
Baseball fans certainly know all about the elder Rivera, the longtime closer for the Yankees who totaled a record 652 saves in his career. The 13-time All-Star and future first-ballot Hall of Famer posted a 2.21 ERA over a 19-year career, all with the Bronx Bombers.
Will Mariano Rivera Jr. ever reach the major leagues?
Rivera Jr., an Iona starter, had a 2-6 record in his sophomore season to go with a 5.40 ERA, leading the team with 70 innings pitched (including five complete games). The 5'11", 155-pounder also notched 50 strikeouts with 26 walks in 12 starts.
According to Sean Brennan of the New York Daily News, Rivera Jr. explained that his relationship with his famous father doesn't center around baseball:
We don’t really talk about the game, to be quite honest with you. I’ll have a catch with him from time to time and he’ll teach me a little bit, but we just don’t talk baseball all that much. To me he’s my father and he’s his own person. Let me make something out of myself.
Rivera Jr. added, "I would love to learn his cutter but I’ll never be able to throw it like him." The cutter made Mariano an icon, and perhaps his son will be able to carve out his own path in New York moving forward.
The elder Rivera, now 44, didn't make the majors until he was 25 years old. While the pick may turn out to be one last tip of the hat to the all-time great—the Yankees also drafted Andy Pettitte's son, Josh, in the 37th round last year—the younger Rivera will have some time to develop as a prospect.
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