Patrick Sandoval doesn’t appear to be a potential multi-millionaire. The unassuming and affable Mission Viejo High senior is one of the most heralded pitchers in the nation, and his life could change dramatically on June 8 when the Major League Baseball draft is held.
As he was younger, his dad always used to say that he should never give up. Playing baseball starting at the age of 6, Patrick Sandoval’s biggest role model was his dad. “My dad taught me how to pitch. He learned by watching baseball; he never played himself.“ The senior also looks up to Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers. “I like to model my game after him,“ said Sandoval.
Learning through watching games on TV and incorporating moves into his game is only one of many methods the 18-year-old gets out when he’s facing a game.
Sports has always played a huge role in his life, and he moved from football and basketball to playing baseball for six years in a club and four years in high school. All of that has taught him well. “Yes, I got awards. They awarded me first team All American, first team All CIF and first team All League.“ Sophomore and junior year, the team went to CIF and made it to the first round. Outside of school he participated in a program that’s called ’All-American’ and made all of CIF, All-League, All-Orange County as well as he played the Area Code Games.
“We, as a team, are really good, really talented. Last year we were ranked 19th in California. I love the coach here; coach Ashbach is awesome. He and my family are very supportive.“ Also his most motivating quote comes from his coach: “He always says: Next pitch! Just to keep focus on the next pitch and don’t focus on the pitch you just threw.“ Friends of the senior are impressed and excited for him, too. “Some people already calling him the next Cy Young”, said Ryan Dove, a close friend of Sandoval.
A big factor for the decision between college and playing professional baseball is the money, according to Sandoval, depending on how much money the senior would earn when getting drafted. “I would probably need to be drafted in the first two rounds. The first round are the best players, they get the most money and the second round are the second best players and they still get a lot of money.” The whole procedure consists of 30 to 40 rounds with 30 picks in each round. A potential seven million dollar contract would change the whole life of the teenager.