Pudge plays role of proud Papa on draft day

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals catcher Ivan Rodriguez has been a lot of things: An All-Star, a Gold Glove winner, a Silver Slugger, an MVP. 

But Tuesday afternoon he got to be something else entirely: A proud father as his son Ivan “Dereck” Rodriguez was taken with the No. 208 overall pick in the sixth round of the 2011 MLB Draft by the Minnesota Twins. Rodriguez, who was away from the team a few weeks ago for his son’s high school graduation, was beaming with pride in the clubhouse this afternoon.

“His dream’s come true,” Rodriguez said. “Now it’s time for him to go play ball.”

Rodriguez said his son, an outfielder, has committed to play for Santa Fe Community College in Florida but there’s a strong chance he’ll sign with the Twins and begin his pro career. Rodriguez knew before his son that he’d be taken by the Twins but he left the 19-year-old in suspense.

“I was on this for days talking to scouts,” Rodriguez said. “They told me before it happened so I knew… He was smiling and happy and, very happy kid. Very happy kid. Now he’s at home sleeping. He couldn’t sleep for days. Hopefully he can be in Fort Myers soon.”

Rodriguez wasn’t the only member of the Nationals organization with reason to be proud on Tuesday. With the No. 907 overall pick the Nationals selected a left-hander out of South Carolina whom they know pretty well. His name’s Bryan Harper and he’s not only Bryce’s brother but a pitcher the Nationals drafted out of high school in 2008. 

Surely their draft day experience were a little different, Harper going No. 1 overall and his brother being taken in the 30th round, but if the Nationals sign Bryan relatively quickly, they could send him to Single-A Hagerstown and let the siblings play together for a little while. He could also provide some emotional support to Harper as he continues to navigate his way to presumed stardom in the major leagues. 

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About the Author
Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak

Amanda Comak covers the Washington Nationals and comes to The Washington Times from the Cape Cod Times and after stints with MLB.com and the Amsterdam (N.Y.) Recorder. A Massachusetts native and 2008 graduate of Boston University, Amanda can be reached at acomak@washingtontimes.com and you can follow her on Twitter @acomak.

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