BLUF: Potential fourth outfielder with pop and plenty of strikeouts.
The Player: Jared Mitchell (OF, Chicago White Sox) – A first round pick by the White Sox in 2009, he played 34 games in the Low-A South Atlantic League that year, hitting .296/.417/.435. Suffered a torn tendon in his left ankle during spring training in 2010 and missed the entire season. Returned to the field in 2011 and played in 129 games with High-A Winston-Salem. Hit .222/.304/.377 with 183 strikeouts to go with 31 doubles, eight triples and nine home runs. Promoted to Double-A to start the 2012 season and posted a .240/.368/.440 line prior to his promotion. His line includes 13 doubles, 12 triples and ten home runs. Has hit .250 in seven games with Triple-A Charlotte.
Basis of Report: Compilation – Personal Observation (College 2009, Carolina League 2011), Industry Contacts
Body (6-0, 205): Thicker body than in college. Lost some athleticism but still a solid athlete with a good strong frame. Average to above-average body. Limited physical projection.
Hit: Improved approach in 2012. Showing better bat-to-ball skills but still too much swing and miss. Swing frequently starts late. Pitch recognition is not there. Shows desire to work counts and find pitches to hit. Lacks feel for the barrel. Inconsistent swing mechanics, almost like he’s trying to make too many adjustments at once. Below-average hitter at best and may not get there. Needs a lot of at-bats. Grade – 20/30
Power: Added strength has led to more power. Shows good over-the-fence power in BP and in games. Can drive the ball, particularly to the pull side. Has natural loft in swing plane but can get pull happy and swing uphill too much. Average or slightly better power potential but it may not all play in games because of lack of hitting ability. Grade (raw power) – 40/50
Arm: Solid arm but nothing spectacular. Mechanics get sloppy at times and throws lose zip. Not a RF arm. Grade – 40/50
Fielding: Showed promise as CF when drafted but has lost enough speed and game time that projection is tough in CF. More LF now with good routes and decent instincts. Can defend on the corner and cover CF in a pinch. Grade – 50/50
Speed: Lost a step with injuries and added mass on frame. More of a solid-average runner and likely average runner long term. Speed doesn’t play well on the bases. Lacks instincts to be significant stolen base threat. Not the speed guy that was drafted. Grade – 50/50
Summation: Completely different player than scouted in 2009 and has changed again since last year. More of a low-average, power-oriented player than the speedy up-the-middle type that was drafted. Potential as fourth outfielder with pop and ability to handle all three outfield positions. Better defender on the corners long term. Contact issues are a major problem and could keep him from a consistent bench role in the big leagues. Should be a big leaguer but more in the .250-255, 15-18 homer mold.
Relative Risk: Moderate. Lower ceiling eliminates some risk but swing-and-miss issues could hold him back.
Future: Injuries early in his career really hurt him, both physically and developmentally. Desperately needs time in the outfield and in the batter’s box. More raw than his age suggests and could use a full year in Triple-A in 2013 to get ready for a 2014 debut.