Patrick Mahomes is so talented at football it may be hard to imagine the Chiefs quarterback had a chance to play pro baseball as well. The Tigers selected Mahomes in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB draft.
The late-round selection is not reflective of Mahomes’ baseball talent, but the quarterback made it clear to baseball teams that his focus was on football. Tigers scout Tim Grieve spoke about what he saw from watching Mahomes on the baseball diamond.
“He was very up-front about football. That pushed him down the board,” Grieve told MLB.com. “He was one of the better athletes I’ve covered in East Texas in my 15 years…If he had just focused on the mound, we’d be talking about somebody throwing 94-95. How he throws a football is a lot like how he throws a baseball.”
Mahomes father, Pat Mahomes, was a long-time MLB pitcher. He played 11 seasons for the Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Rangers, Cubs and Pirates. The elder Mahomes admits he was trying to push his son away from football.
“Baseball had been pretty much his whole life growing up, and he always played basketball, too,” Pat Mahomes told USA Today. “Those were his two sports. I was trying to keep him from playing football. But then his junior year in high school, he said he wanted to try this quarterback thing and see where it took him…Well, I’ve got to admit, he made the right choice.”
Mahomes Could Have Been a 3rd or 4th Round MLB Draft Pick if He Wanted to Play Baseball Full-Time
Just like in football, Mahomes liked having the ball in his hands and would have been a pitcher if he continued playing baseball. According to The Kansas City Star, Mahomes would have been drafted in the third or fourth round if he had not told teams he wanted to play football. Mahomes was also quite a basketball player averaging 19 points and eight rebounds for Whitehouse High.
“Our scouts loved him, I know that,” Royals scouting director Lonnie Goldberg explained to The Kansas City Star. “I don’t think there are any givens. But he had a couple things you look for. He was loose, and athletic, and had a good arm. Where that takes him, you can’t guarantee anything. But he was a guy everyone knew about, and would’ve been scouted more if not for his interest in football.”
Mahomes grew up going to the clubhouse with his father watching top baseball players like Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. In an interview with CBS Sports, Mahomes admitted that his favorite player to watch was Rodriguez.
“When he was on the Rangers, he was already one of the best players in baseball,” Mahomes explained to CBS Sports. “And I watched Derek Jeter do the same type of things. They were guys already on the top. To see how hard they worked to keep getting better is something I will always remember. Those guys weren’t just satisfied with just being one of the best at that time in the league. They wanted to maintain that and step up and be on that legendary status. In the NFL, things happen at any moment. Look at the Super Bowl champs with the Eagles. Nick Foles, if he wasn’t preparing like he was the starter, he wouldn’t have been able to become a Super Bowl MVP.”