B. April 19, 1991
H/W 6’2”, 175 lbs.
Hailing from the state that was “first in flight”, Mitchell was drafted by the Yankees in 2009 in the 16th round for 800,000 dollars. Originally destined to become a Tar Heel, Mitchell was a two way player in high school that was recruited heavily by colleges. Mitchell hails from Reidsville N.C, a town north of Greensboro near the Virginia border . In his senior year, Mitchell had 87 strikeouts in 45 innings and tossed a complete game 18 strikeout game in the first round of the state playoffs. After apparently hesitating to sign, the Yankees hooked him up with Adam Warren, a fellow North Carolinian and got his signature in August.
Due to his late signing, Mitchell didn’t debut until 2010 when he spent most of the year in the Gulf Coast League. In 42 innings he had 36 strikeouts and 22 walks with a 3.90 FIP. His struggles were largely confined to a bad pro debut however. In his first 4 starts, he went 14.1 innings with 12 strikeouts and 11 walks while posting an 8.30 ERA. For his next 31 innings he posted a 2.03 ERA with 27 strikeouts and 13 walks. He also had a 4 inning cup of coffee with Staten Island at the end of the year.
Out of high school Mitchell predominately sat 90-92 with his lively fastball but has already gotten it up to 95 at times. He poses an above average hard knuckle curve (or spike curve if you prefer) that’s extremely advanced for his age. His biggest problem at this point is throwing strikes. Mitchell needs to be more consistent with his command and control but that’s typical for a young pitcher. At some point he’ll also need to develop a passable change up. Right now the pitch might as well not even exist, but again, that’s also fairly typical of a pitcher with such little pro experience. I would imagine that Mitchell starts 2011 in Staten Island. He was under pretty close supervision last year and never threw more than 5 innings in any start. Pro experience might be what he needs the most really.
Going forward, there is plenty for Mitchell to work on. If he can add more consistent velocity to his fastball, as scouts suspect he should, as well as iron out his command and develop a change up he should improve his stock considerably. Right now he’s an extremely raw talent with a plus pitch. The road is long, but Mitchell will have plenty of time to develop his craft.
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