The Nationals have a theme going in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. They dipped into the talent-rich SEC pool to select junior Rhett Wiseman from Vanderbilt University in the third round (No. 103 overall). Wiseman becomes the third outfielder the Nats have drafted this year following LSU’s Andrew Stevenson and Arizona prep star Blake Perkins from Verrado High School.
Wiseman, 20, is slashing .316/.418/.567 this season for the Commodores, who are still alive in the College World Series. Wiseman had only hit three home runs in his first two years at Vanderbilt, but he banged out 14 this year, tying him for sixth in the conference.
Wiseman, who bats left and throws right, played mostly right field this season. Baseball America ranked Wiseman as the 88th best prospect coming into the draft.
The Massachusetts native was originally drafted out of high school by the Cubs in the 25th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft, but opted to attend Vanderbilt.
In the fourth round, the Nats selected right-hander Mariano Rivera Jr. with the 134th overall pick. He is the son of the legendary New York Yankees closer. Rivera was 5-7 with a team-best 2.65 ERA in 14 starts for Iona University this year. He struck out 113 batters in 85 innings while throwing six complete games and recording three shutouts. Rivera was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Pitcher of the Year.
Rivera was drafted by the Yankees in the 29th round last year, but chose to return to Iona instead of joining his father’s former franchise.