With the 221st pick of the 2023 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft, the San Diego Padres officially selected Tucker Musgrove of the University of Mobile Baseball program as the organization’s fifth overall pick. During the selection, the Padres announced that the two-way player for Mobile will both pitch and hit for the organization.
The junior from Semmes, Alabama, was selected in the seventh round and is the first NAIA player to be drafted in the 2023 MLB draft. Musgrove is the first player from the University of Mobile to be drafted in MLB since Lukas Young was drafted by the Boston Red Sox during the 2017 season. Overall, UM Baseball has seen 19 players drafted since the program began in 1990.
Musgrove played three collegiate seasons as a Mobile Ram under head coach Jon Seymour, quickly becoming one of the program’s top players in recent history. He joined the roster as a right-handed pitcher and position player, tallying his career stats sheet in both categories.
In Musgrove’s first season with the Rams, he was selected as the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Freshman of the Year, while earning two SSAC Second-Team All-Conference selections as a designated hitter and pitcher. In the following season, Musgrove slashed .406 at the plate, with an on-base percentage of .557 to eventually earn his first SSAC First-Team All-Conference selection.
Most recently, Musgrove once again produced eye-popping numbers during the 2023 season, recording a .397 hitting line and .485 on-base percentage. The five-tool player led the Rams with 25 steals, while notching eight home runs, five triples and 32 walks.
Musgrove started every game at center fielder for Mobile, recording a perfect 1.000% fielding percentage with five outfield assists and eventually claimed an SSAC Gold Glove honor. Additionally, the junior threw 18 innings from the mound, leading Mobile with 10 saves on the season and averaging just under 12 strikeouts per nine innings of work.
Following the 2023 campaign, Musgrove earned two SSAC First-Team All-Conference selections as a pitcher and outfielder and was named a NAIA Baseball All-America Honorable Mention.
Mobile Head Baseball Coach Jon Seymour said he is “fired up and over the moon for the kid.”
“I am very excited that Tucker will be getting the opportunity to hit and pitch for an organization that values the skills he possesses,” said Seymour.
The Padres held a pre-draft workout with Musgrove and came away very impressed. San Diego Padres General Manager A.J. Preller was in attendance and took the time to get to know Musgrove, exclaiming the desire to draft the Mobile Ram if given the opportunity.
“Having an MLB General Manager come away impressed just tells you the talent that Tucker has,” said Seymour. “For us, he has been our MVP over the last two seasons and is just a perfect example of who we want to recruit here at UM. He loves the game, wants to grow in the game, and is a kid that just likes to be coached. He’s relentless and competitive, but doesn’t play with an ego. On top of all that, he is great in the classroom and a strong and devoted Christian. He is a coach’s dream.”
Musgrove and the San Diego Padres will begin contract negotiations in the coming days with the hopes of the seventh-round draft pick beginning his professional career with one of the Padres’ six minor league affiliates later this season.