The Washington Post

The next Pudge?

Ivan Rodriguez was not with the Nationals yesterday for a good reason. He traveled to Florida to watch his son, Ivan Dereck Rodriguez, graduate from Monsignor Pace High in Miami. Rodriguez admitted he cried watching the ceremony.

Pudge’s son goes by Dereck, so as to distinguish himself from his Hall of Fame-caliber father. Dereck Rodriguez’s game differs from his dad’s, too. He is a tall, slender outfielder, the opposite of his father’s stout catcher’s build.

Rodriguez said Dereck has accepted an offer to play for Sante Fe Community College in Florida, but he wants to play professionally and would likely sign a contract if drafted in June. Dereck Rodriguez is currently playing on a Florida high school all-star team, Rodriguez said, and scouts from the Brewers, Twins and Rangers have all expressed interest in him.

Dereck Rodriguez worked out with the Nationals a few times last season before, and as a fielder he actually fit in well – you can tell his father passed along at least some of his arm strength. He likes to hit the ball other way (“I don’t know where he gets that from,” Rodriguez said, laughing) and needs to shorten his swing a bit, Rodriguez said. But it seems like some team may draft an 18-year-old with unparalleled pedigree.

Adam Kilgore covers national sports for the Washington Post. Previously he served as the Post's Washington Nationals beat writer from 2010 to 2014.


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