The big day finally arrived for Mariano Rivera Jr. In the 4th round, with the 133th pick overall, the Washington Nationals picked Rivera. Most scouts had him pegged for the 5th or 6th round, but Rivera had huge success, and his talent and performance this past year is unmistakable. The Nationals have a history of picking good prospects in the draft – Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, to name two – and I fully expect Rivera to be on that list.
As many of you know, the Yankees drafted Rivera in the 29th round last year. He was in his sophomore year of college then, but he never seriously considered making the jump to professional baseball. Instead, he chose to stay at Iona and play one more year while continuing his education. The gamble paid off, as his numbers took a profound step forward. His ERA dropped to 2.65 and he notched 113 strikeouts for a K/9 of 11.96. It’s no surprise that he got picked as early as he did.
Honestly, I’m disappointed that he was not picked by the Yankees. His father has said that he is happy for him, that he feels “no disappointment. This is business. We treat it like that.” Obviously he is not going to take away from the joy of the day, a day Rivera Jr. will remember for the rest of this life. If there is any disappointment, it stems from our expectation that he will have a very successful career, and we would have loved it to have been in Yankee pinstripes.
--Ike Dimitriadis, BYB Senior Staff Writer
My blog is: Shots from Murderer's Row
You've made BYB the fastest growing Yankees fan site in history. Now shop at the Bleeding Yankee Blue store! Follow me on Twitter @BleednYankeeBlu and LIKE Bleeding Yankee Blue on Facebook! Also, don't forget to check out the BYB Hub!