There is absolutely no doubt, pitcher Mariano Rivera Jr. has the pedigree necessary to be a Major League pitcher, but does he have the stuff? This has been the major question surrounding the Iona College product- and son of legendary reliever Mariano Rivera. Through his first two seasons, Rivera Jr. had been rather average struggling with his command and often times losing hitters. Still, a breakout junior year landed Rivera Jr. firmly on scouts’ maps and the Washington Nationals were the lucky team to gobble him up with the 133rd overall pick.
During the first couple of rounds, the Nationals had focused primarily on outfield bats, however, decided Rivera Jr. was worth the chance in the fourth round. In 2015, Rivera Jr. went 5-7 with a minuscule 2.85 ERA and an astonishing 113 strikeouts.
Unlike his father, Rivera Jr. projects as a backend of the rotation pitcher and has shown his ability to rack up innings throwing six career complete games. The Gaels’ star was voted the MAAC pitcher of the year for his phenomenal year and certainly could be a steal for Washington.
Although, the younger Rivera does not possess the devastating cutter that made his father so successful at the big league level he does have a three pitch arsenal highlighted by a mid-90’s fastball, slider and change up.
Still, Rivera will need to build upon his small 5 foot 11, 155 pound frame if he hopes to have an impact within the Nationals organization, but will have all the tools necessary to crack the Major Leagues.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports