Prospect Roundtable: The Book on Cal Mitchell

Cal Mitchell exceeded his prospect eligibility, then was sent back down to the minors. In multiple trips to the majors this year, Mitchell has a .204/.241/.336 line in 137 at-bats.

When a player exceeds his prospect eligibility, we run a Prospect Roundtable where we break down what to expect from his career moving forward.

Below is The Book on Cal Mitchell.
Mitchell is always someone who I thought would make the majors, but I was never fully sold on him having starter potential. He always showed a solid average and mid-level power, so I figured the bat would be the carrying tool. His vastly improved strikeout rate last year in Altoona gave me a bit more confidence, but when I did the top 30 ranks for the system before the season, he still ended up in the 32nd or 33rd sp...



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There’s not one OF’er in our system that I am gung ho about. None of them scream ‘solid starter’ to me or would force their way into a good team’s starting lineup.


O Neil cruz will be a starting outfielder and that I’m excited about. Watching him play center field will be really fun


Extend Reynolds!


Suwinski is probably the only one (AA and up) that has a chance.


Well, he was sent down to get that high K rate down and that >40% rate shows that he has failed so far. You have Suwinski and I have TSwag, but neither are gonna move the needle much.


Suwinski looks like a classic platoon corner OF to me.

Tampa thrives on getting the most out of these types and the Pirates can too by not forcing them into situations they’re not set to handle.


Spot on comment 😉


Until we see a prospect reach the majors and transition well enough to be an above average starter, I can’t separate the need for more developmental time in AAA and the need to replace some of our MLB coaches–they’re confounded variables. I think it is some of both–I think we can do better at the major league level, but some players do need more time in AAA regardless.


I hadn’t thought of Cal for 1B, but that’s actually a great idea. He has more long term potential than Madris, and while he’s always been an OF and is certainly less familiar with 1B than Madris, I think it might make sense to start converting him now, both for positional flexibility and to cover up for mediocre defense/bad arm. He’s got a ton of OF competition and none for 1B, and he’s easily their worst fielding OF prospect. It could also provide an opportunity to add some muscle weight, if desired, to maybe max out the power some more.

I really hope they keep giving him chances. Everything he’s done in AAA this year has been a real breakthrough for him, and while that hasn’t translated to ML, he’s still very young and hasn’t had particularly consistent opportunities yet. He’s taken steady steps forward with his game every. single. year. There’s no reason to think he wouldn’t continue to do so next year and be able to translate his hitting to one more level up. I would love to see him catch one of his prolonged hot streaks while in a Pirates uni.


Remember the rule 5 draft kvetching? I think the Pirates got it right, except maybe with Yerry. He may have been picked. Guys like Mitchell and Mason Martin would not have stuck with a team. I think it’s pretty rare for a corner guy without loud tools to stick on a team.


With Rule 5, I usually just worry about losing pitchers who can be kept on a roster by giving them low leverage innings out of the pen. There are exceptions, like Baddoo in 2021. My biggest concern last year was Bolton. I thought there was also a small chance that we’d lose Yerry or Tahnaj. We’ll never know. Yesterday notwithstanding, Yerry has shown that he could have stuck.

I had no concerns about Martin (no major league team is going to want a guy with minor league K rates in the 30s) and only very minimal concern about Mitchell (concerns about his defense would have limited his appeal–defense gives players a floor of being a late-inning replacement who gets ABs here and there but Mitchell didn’t have that).


Never mind the email Tim!


CM is def caught in a numbers game, too many OF to list and thats not including
Marcano and Bae who play everywhere. He needs to hit his way out of here and become a trade chip which would help his career as well.
Feel the same about Newman, Plate discipline boys, get better


It’s easy for me to forget that he’s still got development ahead of him because it feels like he’s been around forever, but Cal’s still 7 months younger than Suwinski, 1 1/2 years younger than Swaggy T and THREE YEARS younger than Madris.

The ONLY thing I would caution is not to put him in RF because oh, that arm…


Blows my mind when folks actually think Bligh Madris is an actual prospect. Is he even good enough to play overseas? Maybe.


That comparison to Suwinski caught my attention only because Suwinski leapfrogged him from AA to the majors. You’re right that when a HS player catches our attention when drafted, it’s easy to forget several years later that he still is young enough to have plenty of time to develop. Good to keep in mind for guys like Head, Siani, Bowen, Dixon, …


I fell the Pirates have really screwed up over the years by trying to force players into more premium positions. Mitchell is just 1 example, he should’ve been given a 1B mitt 3 years ago. Cruz should’ve been in CF years ago. They need to figure out where these kids belong early on & let them learn the position.


I agree, find that man a 1st baseman’s mitt.

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