Nats agree to terms with Perkins, Rivera Jr.
ST. PETERSBURG -- Less than a week after the 2015 MLB Draft concluded, the Nationals have agreed to terms on an $800,000 contract with second-round pick Blake Perkins and a $410,700 deal with fourth-round pick Mariano Rivera Jr., a source told MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. The club has not confirmed the deals.
Rivera, the son of the great Yankees closer, went 5-7 with a team-best 2.65 ERA for Iona College in 2015. He was named the MAAC Pitcher of the Year this past season, and he was also named to the All-MAAC First Team, leading the conference in strikeouts with 113.
Rivera posted a dominating 11.96 strikeouts per game and 12.87 strikeouts per game in conference play. He held opposing batters to a .211 average against, and he kept conference hitters to a .155 average. Rivera threw six complete games -- one shy of the Iona record -- and he led the MAAC with three shutouts in 85 innings pitched. He was a three-time recipient of the MAAC's Pitcher of the Week Award.
Perkins just finished high school, and he looks ready to handle professional pitching. The right-handed-hitting Perkins batted .461 (41-for-89), with seven home runs, 35 RBIs and 51 runs scored in just 29 games during his senior season at Verrado High School in Buckeye, Ariz.
The Nats plan to turn Perkins into a switch-hitter, and he has toyed with the idea of hitting left-handed. In fact, he worked out as a switch-hitter at Nationals Park recently, and hitting coach Rick Schu was impressed with what he saw.