KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hold on, New York. Another Mariano Rivera may one day be wearing pinstripes.
With the 872nd pick in the baseball draft on Saturday, the New York Yankees drafted Mariano Rivera III, the son of the legendary reliever, whose fastball has already been clocked in the low 90s.
The younger Rivera is a sophomore at Iona College, so it'll be a while before he could be toeing the same mound where his dad established himself as the most productive relief pitcher in major league history.
He may not even sign, of course. Nevertheless, Yankees manager Joe Girardi is always happy to hear Yankees and Rivera mentioned in the same breath. "I know he comes from good bloodlines," Girardi said.
While chatting with Mariano River in New York this week, the subject of the son came up.
"I asked him the other day for a scouting report," Girardi said. "Mo wasn't sure if he got drafted what he would do. But I think it's neat that he was drafted by the Yankees and we'll see what happens. His velocity, he's gotten bigger and stronger and it's increased."
Rivera, who owns Yankee records with games pitched (1,115), ERA (2.21)and saves (652)did not try to sell his son.
"Mo didn't have much to say," Girardi recalled. "Mo's always been a humble guy and he's not going to say much about his son. But he likes what he's doing."
The younger Rivera started 12 games for the Gaels this year, with five complete games. He was 2-5 with a 5.40 ERA in 70 innings. He has not yet developed a cutter, the pitch his famous dad used with such devastating results. He plans to pitch this summer for the Laconia Muskrats of the New England Collegiate Baseball League.
You might say the Yanks are starting to make a habit of drafting the offspring of former greats. Last year they took outfielder Michael O'Neill in the third round, the nephew of Paul O'Neill, who won four World Series championships in a nine-year career with the New Yorkers.