Patrick Mahomes eventually went to Texas Tech, where he starred as the team’s starting quarterback and played on the baseball team — at least for a few years.
Yet, this came after he was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. Detroit took a flyer on a then-18-year-old Mahomes, who eventually turned them down to pursue his dreams on the gridiron. I spoke with Tigers scout Tim Grieve, who scouted Mahomes and played a major role in Detroit’s decision to draft him almost a decade ago.
The Detroit Tigers selected Patrick Mahomes in the 37th round of the 2014 MLB Draft. He would never play for them.
“With Patrick, it was as simple as ‘here’s a kid who looks like he’s going to play football BUT…let’s be that team that started to build the relationship so that if he wants to play baseball 2-4 years down the road, we’ve got our foot in the door,” scout Tim Grieve said.
Grieve said that Mahomes could have graded out as a third or fourth-round prospect had he focused solely on baseball. Of course, he had other aspirations.
“He’s the type of prospect where you say let’s get our uniform on this guy and figure the rest out later,” Grieve said. “With any of these kids it’s always a dream.”
Patrick Mahomes opted not to pursue a career in professional baseball when the Tigers drafted him. Like the Kyler Murray’s and Russell Wilson’s of his day, Mahomes saw a far more direct path to fame and financial security in football, and it was the right choice.
“You could’ve (tried to) throw a dollar figure at him…the fault with that is do you really want to convince a kid by throwing money at him? To me that’s just asking for trouble,” Grieve said. “What was being portrayed from his side was clearly ‘football is what I would like to do’. I think a lot of people that scouted Kyler Murray would probably tell you the same thing.”
While Patrick Mahomes II did not play baseball, his father had an esteemed career in the big leagues. Pat Mahomes pitched 11 years in MLB, notching 42 wins in 308 appearances. He had a career 5.47 ERA and pitched for six teams.
Grieve noticed plenty of his father in Mahomes’ ability as a pitcher. He was also an incredible leader on the field at such a young age. It’s a natural ‘what if’ for any scout who saw him play.
“The energy, the passion, the leadership…you can tell he’s having fun when he plays. When you go see a high school baseball prospect so many are robotic, but he was different. He was just letting his athleticism and passion for playing take over. That was very evident at a young age…he was that same guy when he was playing baseball,” Grieve said. “I loved that Patrick was a multi-sport kid.”
Mahomes was borderline unrecognizable on the diamond. He doubled as an outfielder and a pitcher — two positions where his arm thrived in. As a pitcher, he was wild and needed some help with technique. The talent was there, though, as he could already hit the mid-90’s at 18 years old. His highlights showcase just that.