71° Good Morning
71° Good Morning

Yankees draft Mariano Rivera Jr. in 29th round

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, right, accompanied

New York Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, right, accompanied by his son, Mariano Rivera Jr., bangs the gavel after ringing the New York Stock Exchange opening bell Wednesday on July 18, 2012. Credit: AP

Joe Girardi called it "neat.'' Mariano Rivera likely would agree.

The Yankees drafted the iconic closer's son, Mariano Rivera Jr., in the 29th round of the first-year player draft Saturday. "We know he comes from good bloodlines,'' Girardi said.

This past year, in his sophomore season for Iona, Rivera -- who began his college career at Quinnipiac -- went 2-6 with a 5.40 ERA in 13 appearances (12 starts) and 70 innings. He struck out 50 and walked 26.

Scouts have said the 20-year-old's best pitch is a slider, not the cut fastball his father made famous. Rivera Jr. has only dabbled with that pitch.

Girardi said he saw the elder Rivera last week and got a brief scouting report.

"His velocity, as he's gotten bigger and stronger, it's increased,'' Girardi said. "Mo didn't have much to say. He's always been a humble guy and he wasn't going to say much about his son. But he loves what he's doing.''

The Yankees chose Andy Pettitte's son Josh out of Deer Park (Texas) High in the 37th round in 2013. He went to Baylor and transferred to Rice.

New York Sports