The Washington Nationals selected outfielders with their first three picks, taking Andrew Stevenson out of LSU with the 58th overall pick, high school outfielder Blake Stevenson at no.69 and Vanderbilt's Rhett Wiseman at no.103.
With their fourth pick of the draft, the Nationals went with the son of legendary Yankees' major league closer Mariano Rivera, Mariano Rivera, Jr. out of Iona College in Rye, NY.
With their 4th round selection (134th overall), the #Nats select Mariano Rivera Jr. (RHP, Iona College, NY).— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 9, 2015
Going into the Draft, Nats' GM Mike Rizzo discussed the team's approach, explaining that decision on the team's top picks were made not based on needs with the organization, but with an eye for taking the best available talent.
"We take every draft independent of what the system is like and what the organization has and it’s kind of an entity of its own," Rizzo explained.
Rivera Jr. went 5-7 with a team-best 2.65 ERA (25 ER/85.0 IP) in 14 G/14 GS for Iona. He was named 2015 @MAACSports Pitcher of the Year.— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 9, 2015
After putting together their draft board, the Nationals went with the best player available when their picks came up.
Rivera was (5-7) with a 2.65 ERA in 14 starts and 85 IP this season, walking 27 and striking out 113 batters.
Jim Duquette offered the following comments on the Nats' 4th Round selection on MLB.com's Draft broadcast...
"You love the big family ties here, locally and in the New York area and Iona," Duquette said. "He's got the really big fastball, 96-97 mph, needs a little work on that offspeed pitch, maybe his dad will show him how to throw that cutter."
"He's not the biggest guy in the world," MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo added. "He's probably going to move to the bullpen. I think the biggest thing that helped his profile this year was that jump in velocity... threw harder, more consistently, slider shows chances of being above-average maybe. I think you put him in the bullpen, just go fastball/slider, maybe he starts throwing that splitter again..."