CAL MITCHELL, CORNER OUTFIELDER
|Born: March 8, 1999
Drafted: 2nd Round, 50th Overall, 2017
How Acquired: Draft
High School: Rancho Bernardo HS (CA)
WTM’s PLAYER PROFILE
|Mitchell reflected a draft strategy on the Pirates’ part that appeared to seek upside, as they went with prep players on their first four selections. He also reflected a greater emphasis on power potential than they’ve generally shown. Mitchell was rated more highly going into his senior year than at draft time, but a change in his approach at the plate hurt his stock. He’d shown plus power and the ability to drive the ball to all fields in the past, but in 2017 he developed a pull happy swing that resulted in increased swings and misses. He rebounded late to put up decent stats for the season and has the power, hit tool and strike zone judgment to be a good hitter in the future if the strikeouts aren’t an issue. He’s a below average runner who was already limited as a prep player to left field and he doesn’t have a strong arm, so his bat will have to carry him. He had a commitment to the University of San Diego, but the Pirates signed him for exactly the slot amount.
Mitchell didn’t hit the ball with a great deal of authority during his debut, but he wasn’t overmatched, as the BB:K ratio shows. He played two games each in center and right, and spent the rest of his time in left.
The Pirates sent Mitchell to West Virginia, where he was one of the league’s youngest players. He got off to a fast start, but tailed off steadily after the first month until he rebounded a bit at season’s end. His monthly OPS:
His plate discipline was just decent throughout the season. Mitchell had a reverse platoon split, batting 357/413/490 against LHPs and 258/325/409 against RHPs. He played a few games in right and otherwise played left.
Mitchell had a frustrating season. Considering the context — a player who’d just turned 20 in the pitching-dominated Florida State League — his power numbers were good. He was sixth in the league in HRs and tenth in SLG. His walk and K rates, though, were obviously bad. Every time he seemed to have gotten the bat going, he’d go into a lengthy slump. His OPS by month:
Mitchell had significant problems with LHPs, with a .542 OPS vs. .750 against RHPs. He had ten outfield assists, although that doesn’t necessarily show a strong arm.
Mitchell probably has more hitting potential than all but a few players in the Pirates’ system, but his impatience is holding him back. Altoona will be a significant test for him.
|2020: Minor league contract
|Signing Bonus: $1,357,300
MiLB Debut: 2017
MiLB FA Eligible: 2023
MLB FA Eligible:
Rule 5 Eligible: 2021
Added to 40-Man:
Options Remaining: 3
MLB Service Time: 0.000
|June 12, 2017: Drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2nd round, 50th overall pick; signed on June 20.|