Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez was away from the team on Friday, to watch his son, Ivan Dereck Rodriguez, graduate from Monsignor Pace High School in Miami. And the younger Rodriguez, who goes by Dereck to distinguish himself from his father, could be following in his footsteps next month.
Dereck Rodriguez, a 6-foot-2 outfielder who attended the same school as Nationals prospect Chris Marrero, is eligible for the First-Year Player Draft next month, and he's getting plenty of attention. Ivan Rodriguez said the Brewers, Twins and Rangers are among the teams that have been scouting his son, who also throws a fastball in the low 90s and flashed an impressive outfield arm while working out with the Nationals last summer. He also has shown some punch to the opposite field - "I don't know where he gets that from," Ivan Rodriguez quipped on Saturday.
Some scouting services have put him among the top 125 players in the 2011 draft class, and while he's committed to Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Fla., Ivan Rodriguez said his son would like to go pro if he's drafted highly enough.