SAN DIEGO — While the Padres are off battling the Cubs in Chicago, Major League Baseball prospects came to play at Petco Park.

The second annual MLB Draft Combine was held Wednesday for the first time ever in San Diego, with the league inviting some of the best players around the country to put their talent on display for all to see.

One of those players is North Carolina State pitcher Rob Evans.

“It’s crazy because two years ago when I went to South Carolina, I didn’t think I would be here. I thought I would be somebody who flies under the radar. To be here is huge because if you look at yourself as little kids, we dream of stuff like this.” Evans said.

Evans, who’s originally from the Bronx in New York City, said the pandemic forced him to move down south to play the game he loves. He is a part of the 255 prospects, made up of college and high school athletes, showcasing their skills over a four-day period.

The new generation brought stars of years past like former Padres outfielder Mike Cameron. The three-time gold glove winner says connecting with younger players is a must.

“It’s good to be engaged with the younger guys, just kind of see where they at, also try to connect generations and get a feel for where their minds at, at 18,” Cameron said.

Evans understands who he is and what his presence means to the game.

“Being somebody, a man of color in this game, is not the easiest thing on the earth, but as you see in this class right here, we have a lot of guys, men of color coming up,” Evans said.

According to Major League Baseball, the top prospects are African American. For Evans, that’s encouraging.

“I’m real excited about what’s coming in the future and it’s huge now, because I feel like a lot of young guys of color are going to be. They’re going to have that confidence to step on the field wherever they at, whether it’s down south or out west to step on the field and know that they’re the best wherever they are,” Evans said.

The MLB Draft will happen in almost exactly a month from now: July 17 -19.