White Sox Add A Quarterback
GLENDALE, ARIZ.—The entire college football recruiting world was aware of Mitch Mustain's quarterback talents in the fall of 2005.
But six and a half years later, it took some persistence from White Sox area scout Clay Overcash to give Mustain a chance at developing into a major league pitcher. His football career apparently over, the 24-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Sox.
"Obviously, he has a big arm, and only time will tell if it transfers over to throwing a baseball," said Buddy Bell, vice president of player development and special assignments. "And it would be great for Mitch and the White Sox if it works out. He has had a tougher road than anyone anticipated coming out of high school."
The 6-foot-2, 225-pound Mustain was the national high school football player of the year after his senior year at Springdale (Ark.) High. He was undefeated in eight starts as a true freshman for Arkansas in 2006 before he was benched, which eventually led to his transfer to Southern California.
There, Mustain was stuck behind Mark Sanchez and Matt Barkley. In October 2009, Mustain told the Los Angeles Daily News he was considering playing baseball, though he never pursued pitching for the Trojans' once-storied program.
After starting only one game for USC and not being selected in the 2011 draft, Mustain was headed to play for the Georgia Force of the Arena Football League before pitching for the first time since his sophomore year of high school.
Mustain, wearing USC workout clothes, threw a January bullpen session for Overcash at Arkansas that included working out of the stretch. The workout was videotaped, and roving minor league pitching coordinator Curt Hasler and minor league field coordinator Kirk Champion were impressed with Mustain's sound mechanics, considering he hadn't pitched in nearly eight seasons.
• Outfielder Jordan Danks added 15 pounds to his 6-foot-5 frame in an effort to add power and earn a spot on the major league Opening Day roster.
• The Sox will play the Dodgers on March 23 in Tucson, with proceeds from the game to benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation, which benefits children in the Tucson community.