Drafted in the first round and 47th overall in 2010 by the Colorado Rockies, righthanded pitcher Peter Tago received a hefty signing bonus. The Dana Hills High School graduate from Dana Point, Calif., committed to play at UCLA. Tago struggled with control issues with the Rockies and never got out A-ball. In 2014, the Chicago White Sox picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft. Capable of throwing in the upper 90’s and a curveball with lots of movement, Tago started all over. He changed his mechanics got rid of the curveball in favor of a slider and went from a starter to a reliever. The Mariners acquired him in November of 2016. Currently, he holds a 2.76 ERA and has four saves and two losses.
Did you have to think twice about signing out of high school?
I wanted to play baseball my whole life and would have signed either way. Honestly, I would have signed if I didn’t get anything.
What made you decide to change your mechanics?
I wanted to get back to being more athletic and not so mechanical in my delivery. Looking back, I should have gone to college to go through the bumps and bruises. At the collegiate level, you learn about timing and delivery, and I didn’t know better.
Did you like going from a starter to a reliever?
It fits my personality better because I don’t have to be on a specific routine. Being superstitious in what I ate or did was overwhelming. As a reliever, you have to be ready to go every single night. I love when its second and third and nobody out.
Besides the Big Leagues, what are your goals?
I have a wife and two kids and really want a home with land so the kids can play in the yard, and I can cut grass. We live in Phoenix, and they are able to travel with me all the time.
How do you feel about your first all-star selection (he was selected to play in Tuesday’s Texas League all-start game)?
I feel very blessed and praise God for the gifts he has given to do this. I want to be an impact on and off the field.
What do you do in the off-season?
I own a training facility, Optimum Peak Performance, in California. We train all sports and most of our athletes are nationally-ranked or elite in their sport.
Are you happy with your career thus far?
I’ll be 25 on July 5 and am grateful to have a job. I think going through the trials and errors was a blessing, and I like to say I endured and persevered. I think going through those early has helped me have the success I have now. When I am called up the Big Leagues, I don’t want to be sent back down. I want to stay there.