Behind the Dream: Tom Cosgrove

Megan and Tom in 2019

Tom Cosgrove is a pitcher from Staten Island, NY drafted by the San Diego Padres in 2017. Last season (2019), he played for the Class-A Adv Lake Elsinore Storm in Lake Elsinore, CA before being placed on a rehab assignment in Arizona for his arm.

Keep up with Tom on Instagram!

Q: What’s your favorite baseball movie?

TC: Sandlot, for sure! It’s a classic. You can’t go wrong that one.

Q: Who was your favorite team growing up?

TC: I was a Mets fan growing up!

Q: How did it feel to be drafted by a west coast team?

TC: I’m a big move around guy. I haven’t had roots since high school, so it was fun for me. I had never been to Arizona until I first signed, but I had been to California once or twice before I played with Lake Elsinore. So it was cool to be on the west coast.

Q: Who is your current favorite player and your all-time favorite player?

TC: Growing up, my favorite player was definitely Johan Santana because I watched him throw the Mets’ first no-hitter when I was 15 or 16, so I followed him a lot when I was younger.

Right now, it’s hard to say. I love to watch Tatis play because he’s electric. The few games I’ve watched him play on TV has been pretty cool, so I’ll say him. Gotta go with a Padre!

Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration?

TC: My dad because he’s always been there for me when I was younger. Always there throughout my whole baseball career and never wavered, so I’d definitely say him. He supports me 100%.

Q: How did you get into baseball?

TC: I played a couple of sports when I was younger: basketball, baseball, and hockey. During my sophomore year of high school, it kinda clicked. I just stuck with baseball and stopped playing the other sports. I would say that I never really stood out compared to some other guys I grew up playing with, but I stuck with it and got some opportunities and made the best of it.

Q: What advice do you have for younger players?

TC: My biggest thing, especially after I got drafted was that I would always try to control things that I couldn’t really control. So I just made it super simple:

If you do what you have to do off the field, you’ll be able to do what you have to do on the field. Everything else, whatever it may be, doesn’t really matter. Just focus on what you can control and that’s it.

That’s a good thing to start learning when you’re younger.

Q: What’s your warm-up song?

TC: I’m kinda a big old school rap kinda guy, so I like listening to Nas and Wu-Tang Clan. Nas is my number one, so probably anything by him like Get Down.

Q: Draft Day: You were taken in the 12th round of the 2017 draft. What was that experience like?

TC: It was the third day of the draft and I had received several calls on the second day, so I really thought I was going to go on the second day in rounds 3-10. So I was just waiting around the next day. At the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter when you get drafted or how much money you get. I’m here and I’m supposed to be here. It was exciting though! I was just with my family: my mom, dad, and sister. I actually got drafted on my 21st birthday, so it was a good party the next day.

Q: Last season, you were sent to Arizona on a rehab assignment in May. Take us through the process of that.

TC: I was struggling with how I was feeling pretty much after my first start in Lake Elsinore. I think I had like six starts after that where I really wasn’t able to get any work done in-between starts. I was really struggling, but I kept telling myself that nothing was up, and just trying to get over a hump.

I got an MRI and it didn’t look great, but I thought I was going to be able to avoid surgery so I came to Arizona. The trainers put me on a rehab schedule for about 12 weeks and I made three rehab starts in the AZL (Arizona League) around August. I was trying to get back to Lake Elsinore to make a few more starts and reassess where I was after the season, but I didn’t get that far. I really was not feeling great so I got a second MRI after my third rehab start in Arizona, and there was no question about it that I needed surgery. I went back to New York and got my surgery on September 10th. I’ve been back in Arizona since then and just working on coming back with the trainers.

Q: You threw for the first time in March right when everything shut down. How has this “down time” helped with your training? 

TC: Yeah! I actually threw off of a mound for the first time last Friday (June 19). It was a modified bullpen so I threw 50 fastballs and I felt pretty good. I haven’t had any setbacks or anything. The trainers have been doing a really good job with helping me get back on track. The surgeon did a great job and I feel really good. Hopefully I’m back and better within the next couple of weeks.

It was great catching up with Tom. We wish him all the best in his rehab training and can’t wait to cheer him on at the Diamond in Lake Elsinore next season!

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