Sandman Jr.? Yankees Draft Son of Mariano Rivera
Mariano Rivera has some big shoes to fill in New York, and now there’s a new potential candidate to be the team’s future closer.
With their pick in the 29th round, the New York Yankees took Mariano Rivera Jr. out of Iona. Like his dad, Rivera Jr. is a pitcher but was a starter this past season for the Gaels.
With their 29th round pick, the Yankees select Mariano Rivera Jr. Good bloodlines, I hear.
— Eye on Baseball (@EyeOnBaseball) June 7, 2014
The bloodline is certainly there, but the son has a lot to do before reaching the same heights as his father. Everyone knows how Rivera dominated major league hitters for almost twenty years and he is arguably the greatest relief pitcher ever. He compiled 656 saves (most in baseball history) with a 2.21 ERA over his 19-year career.
Rivera Jr. will certainly be a project within the Yankees organization after struggling through parts of this season while also showing flashes. He finished with a 2-6 record and a 5.40 ERA. Walks hindered his performance as he issued 26 free passes over 70 innings to go along with his 50 strikeouts.
Many like Rivera Jr.’s competitiveness and ability to go deep into games as a starting pitcher, which will certainly give him a chance to make it to the next level. His 70 innings pitched were most on the team and he had five complete games this year. He is only a sophomore and has room to grow at only 5’11” 155 pounds. Despite the pedestrian numbers, the Yankees believe the younger Mariano has potential.
And they are also hoping the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
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