First-round NFL Draft pick Pat Mahomes II has baseball in his blood
It's easy to see why Patrick Mahomes II went No. 10 overall to the Chiefs in the 2017 NFL Draft on Thursday night -- he can make just about any throw look easy, even if that throw is 80 yards downfield. As his old high school coach told Sports on Earth: "God didn't make a whole lot of arms like the one he put on Patrick Mahomes."
Once upon a time, though, that arm looked like it might carry him to a professional baseball career. In addition to football and basketball, Mahomes starred on the diamond at Whitehouse High School in Texas, where he played both pitcher -- he routinely sat in the mid-90s with his fastball -- and outfielder. He recently told Jon Gruden that teams were discussing him as a third or fourth round pick in the MLB Draft, and he was such an impressive athlete that MLB Pipeline put together Draft reports on him at both positions:
Of course, it helps that Mahomes has pitching in his blood. His father, Pat Mahomes I, enjoyed an 11-year career as a starter and reliever in the big leagues. He even pitched in the 1999 NLCS as a member of the Mets, delivering an inning of clutch relief to help New York stave off elimination in a 15-inning Game 5 win:
The younger Mahomes told Yahoo last month that growing up around MLB clubhouses instilled in him a sense of professionalism at a young age:
"It definitely helped me, just seeing professional athletes growing up. You saw how hard they worked [and] when they got to the big leagues, how hard they worked to stay there. They really have shown me the way to be a professional athlete and that's definitely something I feel is an advantage for me."
Of course, being the son of a professional athlete came with some other perks: LaTroy Hawkins -- who played with Mahomes' dad on the Twins in the 1990s -- is his godfather, and he even got to take batting practice with
Will the younger Mahomes carve out a similarly productive pro career as a quarterback? We'll have to wait and see -- but if it doesn't work out, we hear there's a market for football players who decide to pick up baseball again.