Right-hander Mariano Rivera III, the son of Major League Baseball’s career saves leader, was picked by the Washington Nationals in the fourth round of the sport’s amateur draft.
Rivera, 21, last month was voted the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year as a junior at Iona College. On Tuesday, he became the 134th player selected in the draft.
As an Iona College starter, Rivera led the MAAC with 113 strikeouts this season, posting a strikeout rate of 11.96 per game. He posted a 5-7 record and a 2.65 earned run average over 85 innings, walking 27 batters.
If Rivera opts to sign with the Nationals, he’ll enter professional baseball two seasons after his father of the same name retired. The former New York Yankees reliever saved a record 652 games over 19 seasons after signing as an amateur free agent in 1990. He departed in 2013 with a 2.21 career ERA and five World Series titles.
The Yankees selected the younger Rivera in the 29th round of last year’s draft, but he opted to return to the college in New Rochelle, New York.