A quick look at his player profile on San Jose State’s website shows a more than impressive resume. His achievements include honors like First Team All-Mountain West, Mountain West Co-Pitcher of the Year, and Second Team ABCA/Rawlings West All-Region.
San Diego’s newest southpaw took some time to answer a few questions for Gaslamp Ball. Padre fans, meet Andrew Mitchel!
Question: How does it feel to be drafted and officially a member of the Padres organization?
Mitchel: Playing pro baseball is something that I have dreamed about since I was a child and to finally get here and be living the life that I have wanted since I could remember it’s a great feeling, not only for myself but for my whole family. And to be apart of such a great organization is just the cherry on top, I really feel like I’m in the right place.
Q: When did you start to realize you were a draft prospect?
Mitchel: I feel like I have been overlooked my whole career. When I came back my senior year of college I feel like I had eyes all over me for the first time in my career and it was a different feeling knowing that every little thing you do is under the microscope. But if you handle your business the right way that can turn out to be a good thing for you.
Q: Was it hard to focus on your business with the eyes all over you? How did you stay focused?
Mitchel: Honestly no, I feel like it makes you lock in and clean up more of the details when you know you are being watched closely. And if you do something long enough it becomes a habit, so it can cause you to grow in many areas of your life both on and off the field. You just need to remember at the end of the day that it’s just a game and you can only control what happens on the field. Everything else is out of your control and a distraction to what you are there to do.
Q: How important was it to develop that mental game, and how can that help you at the next level?
Mitchel: Mental toughness in this game is huge, we are playing a game of failure and it will separate you from the pack if you let failure get to you. Growing up Daulton Jefferies mentored me and I spent enough time around him in high school that I slowly noticed the way he handled his business and learned what you need to do to be successful and the first step is to establish a strong mental foundation to play with. It’s all about staying within yourself, not worrying about other people and not worrying about things that you have no control over. Repeatedly getting up with the same confidence that you had before you got knocked down. It will help because I know I will fail, it’s going to happen. And when it does I know it will not have any effect on how I perceive myself as a player.
Q: Transitioning off the field, if the draft didn’t work out what would the plan have been?
Mitchel: I was really confident and hopeful that the draft was going to workout and I am very grateful that it did because I get to do what I love everyday. But if it didn’t work out I would have most likely went to OCS and worked my way towards becoming a navy seal. It’s something I have always wanted to do but baseball has always been the driving force of my work ethic and day to day drive.
Q: What do you do in your free time away from the game?
Mitchel: I try to read books as much as I play video games, I feel like reading books builds patience and I feel like it’s a way for me to wind down and relax so that’s what I try to do when I’m just hanging out.
Q: Is there anything you want to say to Padre Nation?
Mitchel: I want Padre nation to know how grateful I am to be a part of their organization and how excited I am to get started. Our future is bright!