P2Daily: Cal Mitchell and Mason Martin Are Off to Hot Starts

One of my favorite stories so far in the Pittsburgh Pirates system this year has been the hot start by both Cal Mitchell and Mason Martin.

Both players were left unprotected for the 2021 Rule 5 draft, which didn’t end up taking place due to the MLB lockout. That might have been a good thing, because there were concerns that either or both of these players could be taken by another team.

Martin and Mitchell both possess enough raw power to hit double-digit home runs in the majors. Martin has some of the best power in the system, and could be a 30-home run guy in the big leagues. Those home runs would likely come with a low average and high strikeout rate, combining for a three-true-outcomes approach. Mitchell doesn’t have as much power, but brings a higher average and fewer strikeouts.

Both players homered last night in Indianapolis, in a very heavy offensive game where the wind was blowing 22 MPH out to center field. The wind-aided production last night may have assisted the duo of Pirates hitters, but they’ve got the power to homer when there is no wind, and to be a bigger threat when they’re getting assistance.

Martin now has a 1.303 OPS with a 25% strikeout rate. It’s still early in the season, he’s not walking much, and his strikeout rate can fluctuate by 5% swings in a single game. This is still the type of start you want to see from Martin.

Mitchell has three home runs, a 1.124 OPS, two stolen bases, and his usual low strikeout rate. Just like Martin, there are some sample size issues here, but seeing Mitchell hit for power without adding swing and miss issues is a positive.

It could have been a bad situation if the Pirates had lost either player, only to see them get off to similar hot starts with their new organization.

It now could be a good situation that they’re both off to a hot start in the Pirates’ organization, as the Pirates have long-term needs in the majors for the positions that Martin and Mitchell play.

Could we see both in Pittsburgh by the end of 2022?

I think that’s a very likely possibility if they can maintain their hot starts to the season.

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