Friday, February 12, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Jared Mitchell

The New York Yankees are loading up on depth this offseason and are seemingly signing any and every former first round pick or high-ceiling draft pick that they can. It’s their new Meta, their new strategy and a new way of thinking that hasn’t been proven or disproven to work. These are uncharted territories for the Yankees but I have to say as a fan I’d much rather see the team take chances on the likes of Pete Kozma, Ronald Torreyes, Donovan Solano, Aaron Hicks and others rather than an aging veteran who has seen his better days pass him by. One player that fits that mold is the latest member of the organization to sign a minor league deal with the team in hopes of latching on with the Yankees. This is Meet a Prospect: The Jared Mitchell Edition. 

Jared Christopher Mitchell was born on October 13, 1988 and began his baseball career at Westgate High School. While at Westgate Mitchell was named the 3rd best high school athlete and 43rd best overall high school baseball prospect in the nation for 2006 according to Baseball America. Mitchell caught the eye of the Minnesota Twins who drafted him in the 10th round of the 2006 MLB Draft while in high school and turned down a $700,000 signing bonus from the club to attend LSU University and to play college baseball and football for the Tigers. Mitchell led the Tigers to a 2009 College World Series title after leading the Tigers to a 2007 BCS National Championship just two years prior as a wide receiver. Mitchell was in rarified air winning a college national championship in two different spots and that attention led the Chicago White Sox to come knocking on his door come draft time again, this time in the 2009 MLB Draft and this time in the first round, 23rd overall. 

Mitchell immediately signed with the White Sox after being drafted and started his professional career down in Class-A Ball. Mitchell finished his first season with a .296 batting average with 12 doubles, two triples and 10 RBI setting the bar high for himself in his first full professional season. Mitchell unfortunately had to wait for his first professional season though after undergoing a surgery to repair the tendon in his left ankle during spring training of 2010, a surgery that ended his season. Mitchell was back in 2011 and while his batting average took a significant dip down to .222 his speed game took a step forward proving to the organization that the ankle was fully healed and healthy. With a strong 2011 Mitchell earned a promotion to Double-A and was in Triple-A by the end of the season as he began knocking on the door to the big leagues. 

2013 did not go as planned for Mitchell as he stumbled out of the gate and earned a trip back down to Double-A where he combined to hit just .167 with only eight doubles, a pair of triples and five home runs. Despite the lackluster performance Mitchell was back in Triple-A for a second shot in 2014 and was also added to the team’s 40 man roster. Unfortunately for Mitchell his struggles continued and was released by the team on May 3, 2015. Mitchell signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim two weeks later but never reached the show with his new club. Mitchell is now on his third club of his short professional career and is still looking for that first MLB at bat. Will it be the Yankees? I guess you’ll have to stay tuned. 

Jared, welcome to the team and welcome to the organization but most importantly, welcome to the family. 

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)