Skip to content

Padres raving about Tucker Musgrove’s arsenal of talent after drafting University of Mobile star


Semmes’ Tucker Musgrove arrived at the University of Mobile with a fastball that didn’t match his body. But when his body caught up, so did the professional baseball scouts.

Musgrove (6-3, 185) — a junior five-tool prospect who hit .401 in the last two years of his college career and whose fastball has reached 97 mph — was selected by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round of last week’s Major League draft as the Rams’ first two-way player ever picked.

“The kid is an incredible talent,” UM coach Jon Seymour said. “He just needed a place where we would look after his arm. We gave him a place where we could watch out for his development.”

Musgrove showed his all-around versatility as a junior, hitting .397 with eight home runs and 25 steals as the Rams’ starting center fielder. In 18 innings as a reliever, he had 23 strikeouts and eight walks and 10 saves.

“I am sure I can compete on both sides,” said Musgrove, who is flying Sunday to Peoria, Ariz., the site of the Padres’ spring training complex. “I’d be a more valuable player to be able to pitch and hit. But there’s nothing like hitting a home run, I won’t lie.”

Padres amateur scouting director Chris Kemp gushed with enthusiasm about Musgrove’s potential.

“He’s kind of a late bloomer and it’s a great story and whether he’s wearing a UCLA jersey or University of Mobile, this guy’s got a real talent,” Kemp told the San Diego Union Tribune. “We’re pumped to have him.”

For good reasons, Kemp noted: “A guy who hits .400 for three straight years, pretty much steals 30 bags. He ran a 6.5 at our pre-draft workout in Atlanta and then on the mound it was 93-94 (mph). It’s just very fresh and loose.”

Musgrove had a lively fastball when he graduated from Mary G. Montgomery High School but was only 5-foot-3 and becoming the 19th UM player ever to be drafted and attaining an estimated draft slot value of $226,100 was not even a distant thought.

“I flew under the radar of Division I schools because I was so small,” he said.

Once at UM, Musgrove literally grew in stature and value, adding a foot to his frame and power to his bat and arm.

“He was throwing 93 (mph) his freshman year but it was too hard for his body,” Seymour said. “It got into his shoulder and we had to shut him down. We were down a few outfielders and put him out there and he became one of the best outfielders we had.”

Good enough to become the Southern States Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year and, three years later, the first NAIA player drafted.

Eventually, Musgrove got stronger, added weight and improved his pitching mechanics, reaching 97 mph by the fall of his junior year.

“The scouts started coming,” said Seymour, who noted many factors are lining up to help Musgrove reach the majors.

“I think he has an incredible chance,” Seymour said. “He’s 21 now and by the time he’s 24, he’ll be up to 215 pounds. With his athleticism and competitive makeup, he’s in the right organization with the Padres because they’re a development-first organization and they’re willing to take a chance on someone like him.”

Seymour noted more two-way players are reaching Major League rosters because they can pitch in any situation but don’t count toward a team’s total of active pitchers.

Musgrove — who was ultimately contacted by 25 of the 30 Major League franchises — admitted he had long dreamed of playing pro baseball but didn’t think his chances were good until the last year, when, as he did when he came to UM, he had to show he was more than a pitcher at the Padres’ pre-draft workout.

“They were running 60s for the position players and I said, ‘Hey, do you mind if I run the 60s?’” Musgrove said. “I ran a 6.5. Then they asked, ‘Do you swing it and play a position?’ So, I got to swing it for them and really impressed them. After that, they were looking at me for the hitting, fielding and pitching.”

1 Comment

  1. Kayce Musgrove Winters on July 17, 2023 at 8:22 am

    Wow, what a great story and record in baseball. I am glad to learn of his success in the draft and his overall success. Congratulations to him and the San Diego Padres. I am not sure if I am related to him , although we share a last name. My maiden name was Musgrove and I live in the same city.

Leave a Comment