Earlier this month, the White Sox selected five pitchers in an abbreviated version of the MLB draft. Most fans are now familiar with the top picks like Garrett Crochet and Jared Kelley, but what about the other three players? To get to know fourth-rounder Kade Mechals better, we reached out and asked him some questions.
Mechals was selected out of Grand Canyon University, where he was in his senior season before COVID-19 abruptly canceled things. The right-hander strung together a solid 2019 campaign, going 11-1 in 15 starts (16 total appearances), striking out 100, holding opponents to a .193 average, limiting his ERA to just 2.16, and finishing with a 1.080 WHIP. The impressive season was enough for Kade to be selected by the Miami Marlins in last year’s draft, but he elected to return to the Antelopes for one more go-round.
Tell us about yourself – where did you grow up, when did you start playing baseball, and when did you start to feel like it was something that you might be able to make a career out of?
I was born and raised in McMinnville, Oregon, and started playing baseball as early as I can remember. When I first thought I could possibly make a career out of baseball was after my freshman year of college.
What has the whole draft process been like? Did you ever get a sense that the White Sox were a possible landing spot?
The draft process was strange this year for obvious reasons and I honestly didn’t think I was going to get selected. I knew the White Sox were interested in me for a while. Then they called me on day two of the draft and told me to be ready to go
What was the moment like when you found out you were drafted by the White Sox? Who did you get a chance to talk with from the organization?
It was an experience unlike any other. It reassured me that all the hard work and sacrifice was 100% worth it! John Kazanas, the area scout for the southwest region, reached out to me and stayed on the phone with me as I got picked.
Recently, you underwent Tommy John surgery. How have the early recovery stages gone for you?
Recovery from Tommy John has been going really well and with everything shut down, it’s what I look forward to three times a week!
Let’s throw it back to a gameday. What’s your pregame routine like?
My pregame routine is a lot of stretching and throwing in the headphones and getting locked in to go out and compete.
What’s one thing White Sox fans should know about you that can’t be seen in the scouting reports or stats?
I love the high pressure situations.
Who has helped you the most in getting to where you are today?
My parents are the reason for a lot of my success. They’ve sacrificed so much for me and my love for baseball and without them, there’s no way I make it this far.
Have there been any players you try to model your game after?
My pitching role model is Pedro Martinez. He wasn’t very big but he was fearless and had electric stuff!
What is a memorable piece of advice you’ve received that’s stuck with you?
The best advice I’ve ever heard was “winning is cool.” Everyone we look up to and admire in this game flat out wins and gets the job done. People love winners because they don’t make excuses and will find a way to get the job done under any situation.
On behalf of the entire Sox On 35th team, I’d once again like to congratulate Kade and thank him for taking some time out to answer these questions for us. We wish him nothing but the best in his recovery, and hope to see him back on the field again soon!
Featured Photo: Grand Canyon Baseball/Twitter