Saturday, November 20, 2010
Arizona Fall League Scouting Report: Jared Mitchell
From: LSU (23rd overall pick in 2009 draft)
White Sox GM Kenny Williams isn’t afraid to make a splash in any facet of his job. Those splashes don’t always work out or make a ton of sense. He’s traded for Ken Griffey Jr., Manny Ramirez, Jake Peavy, and a whole host of other household names. His drafting of Jared Mitchell followed a similar modus operandi. Mitchell is a high upside hitter with lots of tools (he played WR at LSU, too) and projection. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffered a tendon tear in his left ankle while making an awesome catch in spring training so he missed the entire 2010 season. The Arizona Fall League was his first bit of baseball since late in 2009 in Kannapolis. He spent his time off getting bigger and stronger and now looks like he could play linebacker if he wanted to. When I saw him he was rusty but you can still see the pieces of a future major leaguer shining through.
A big part of Mitchell’s game is his terrific speed. His ankle injury inevitably raises questions about his mobility but Mitchell has stated that he feels no issues with the ankle. He’s a 60 runner by my watch and will wreak some havoc on the bases to the tune of 30 or so steals annually.
You can see in the videos below that Mitchell is a classic example of a guy who has good bat speed, but a long swing that takes a while to get the bat moving. His swing path is such that he’ll hit for power but will likely have maddening, Jimmy Rollins-esque streaks of pop ups and weak fly balls as well. I’m thinking 20-25 HRs a year.
Mitchell has great patience for a young player, sometimes too much, as he tends to let hittable pitches go in order to run up pitch counts. He has also shown an ability to take the ball the other way though that could simply be a product of his long swing. He’ll need to work on getting his front foot down faster to ignite his swing earlier. He’ll also need to recognize off speed stuff better, something that will simply come with a wealth of reps in pro ball.
Defensively, Mitchell played left field in the AFL, though it seems as though the long-term plan is for him to play center field. He probably has just enough arm to play it at an above average level as long as he learns to take good routes to balls. Again, this is something that will likely come in time. Obviously his speed is an asset defensively as well.