Yankees draft Mariano Rivera Jr. in 29th round
Mariano Rivera may be in a Yankees uniform again — Mariano Rivera Jr. anyway.
The son of the Yankees’ legendary relief pitcher was selected in the 29th round (872nd overall) of the 2014 MLB Draft on Saturday. Rivera, 20, is a 5-foot-11 right-handed pitcher for the Gaels. But you won’t see the No. 42 back on the mound, even if it wasn’t retired. Rivera Jr. wears No. 6 for Iona.
Rivera is just a draft-eligible sophomore, so it’s possible he’ll stay in college for another season.
If he does sign, it’s a longshot fans will see another Rivera on the mound in Yankee Stadium. Besides being a 29th-round pick — and all 29th-round picks face long odds of making the majors — he’s not seen as having a major league arm.
He is just 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA and 50 strikeouts in 70 innings pitched this season. He was 1-4 with a 7.25 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 36 innings as a freshman last season.
The Yankees have a history of drafting famous sons in late rounds of the MLB Draft.
The team drafted Josh Pettitte, son of Andy, in the 37th round of the 2013 draft. The right-handed pitcher, unlike his dad, chose to go to Baylor instead of sign with New York. He didn’t pitch as a freshman. The Yankees also drafted Cal Quantrill, son of former Yankees reliever Paul, in the 26th round of 2013. He didn’t sign and went to Stanford, where he was the Cardinal’s best pitcher as a freshman. He finished 7-5 with a 2.68 ERA and 98 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings.
They also drafted Paul O’Neill’s nephew, Michael O’Neill, in the third round last year. He’s hitting .233 with five homers in 56 games for Single-A Charleston this season.
Follow New York sports editor Mark Osborne on Twitter @MetroNYSports.