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Jared Mitchell 2012 - Improvement on the way?

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QUOTE (RockRaines @ May 4, 2012 -> 08:12 AM)
I'd like to see how many MLB players could run a sub 4.5 40. Thats incredibly fast.


Only a handful of guys running below 4.45 in the NFL.

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QUOTE (Jake @ May 4, 2012 -> 08:17 AM)
Only a handful of guys running below 4.45 in the NFL.

Exactly, thats an incredible time if its legit, which has been an issue with HS and college 40 times.

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QUOTE (RockRaines @ May 4, 2012 -> 08:23 AM)
Exactly, thats an incredible time if its legit, which has been an issue with HS and college 40 times.


I try not to read too much into 40 times because of my experience in college football recruiting. It's a necessary evil, but times can be enhanced or hurt by things that don't have much to do with how fast you are: your starting form (this can have an IMMENSE effect), reaction time, etc. My older brother went to a speed coach and cut .2 off his 40 through working on his starts despite his top speed getting lower due to injury. It's kind of whacky and the fact that the goofy-ass form stuff can make such a big difference kind of biases the process to those that can get instruction on it.

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White Sox seeing the real Jared Mitchell

May 7, 2012, 5:42 pm


Jared Mitchell missed nearly all of the 2010 season following a serious ankle injury suffered in spring training. (AP)




In the southern towns of Birmingham, Montgomery, and Chattanooga, a young White Sox prospect is suddenly raising eyebrows and expectations.


He’s batting .310 with an on-base percentage of .434. He leads the Southern League with 22 runs and 6 triples. He’s 6 for 7 in stolen bases. His strikeouts are way down. His walks are way up.


And now, so is the ceiling for Jared Mitchell, the left-handed outfielder who once was lost, but now is found.


“Because of the health issues, we have never really seen the real Mitch,” said Buddy Bell, White Sox VP of Player Development. “I believe we are just now getting a glimpse of seeing the player we drafted a couple years ago.”


As the White Sox first round pick in 2009, Mitchell was in the same draft class as young phenoms Stephen Strasburg, Dustin Ackley, Drew Storen, Mike Trout and Brett Jackson. A college star at LSU, he seemed to be on the fast track to join the White Sox, until that fateful day the following spring.


March 12, 2010.


Brought into a split-squad game in Tempe as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning, Mitchell went after a deep fly ball off the bat of the Angels Juan Rivera. Jared made a sensational catch against the wall, but when he came down, something was wrong. He couldn’t feel anything in his left leg.


Mitchell tore a tendon in his ankle.


He would need surgery, months of rehab, plus something most 21-year-olds never think about.




“You learn a lot about patience through an injury like that,” Mitchell said by phone on Monday. “It’s a lot of mental perseverance, and things you have to go through, and things you learn about yourself through a situation like that.”


The Most Outstanding Player of the 2009 College World Series was forced to miss all of the 2010 season. Then last year while at Winston-Salem, he struggled mightily at the plate, batting .222 with 183 strikeouts in 129 games.


“Going into last year, in my mind, I thought I was pretty healthy and pretty back to regular.”


He wasn’t. Mitchell says he was at about 85 percent. That’s physically. Throw the mental part into it, and that number was probably lower.


“I wasn’t all the way back, didn’t have all the spring back,” Mitchell said. “I think that helps a lot, to be able to know that you’re healthy and not have to worry about anything else.’


Ask Jake Peavy.


As a former number-one pick, did Mitchell put too much pressure on himself?


“I think subconsciously I probably was, yeah,” Mitchell said. “For me, I guess I wanted everything to come back so quick. It wasn’t so much trying to show this person this or that person that. I wanted to be back in top shape so much, so quick. And it just doesn’t happen that way. This game is not that easy. You realize that once you go through it. I think being able to just come into this year and being able to let things happen and not put so much pressure on every at-bat, and not worry about everything.”


So far, when it comes to hitting in the clutch, Mitchell doesn’t seem to be worried about anything. With the bases empty, he’s batting .245. With runners on, his average climbs to .374. With runners in scoring position, it’s even higher at .394.


“He has made such great strides and because of his talent and makeup will continue to get better daily,” Bell said about the young centerfielder. “There are a few things we knew very early on. He can't get much more athletic, he’s a great kid, and he is one of the most competitive kids we've ever had here.


He is so tough on himself. That gets in his way sometimes, but I think that kind of mentality will help him become the player that he hopes to be.”


If he continues to hit like this, the White Sox believe he’ll be ready for the big leagues sometime in 2013. But in the meantime, Jared isn’t thinking about next season. He’s focused on today.


“My time will come,” he said. “If you start to think [about getting promoted to the majors], it’s just added pressure on yourself. What I try to do I just enjoy the game every day, have fun, and let the chips fall where they may.”

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Apparently it is Jared Mitchell day...




Jared Mitchell held onto the ball, impressing the White Sox and everyone who saw the spectacular play during a Cactus League game. But the catch came with a heavy price.


Mitchell tore a tendon in his left ankle crashing into the fence and missed all of 2010. Although he was back on the field last year, that season was also basically lost.


"I wasn't all the way back," the former Louisiana State two-sport athlete said. "I couldn't do things the way I was used to. I wasn't myself."


But after a difficult season a year ago in the Class A Advanced Carolina League, Mitchell is again showing off the skills that made him the No. 23 overall pick in the 2009 Draft.


Moved up by the White Sox to Double-A Birmingham despite hitting just .222 for Winston-Salem last year, the fleet-footed center fielder closed April with an 11-game hitting streak and was batting .310 with a league-leading six triples and a league-high-tying 24 RBIs through Monday.


Mitchell, who bats and throws left-handed, enjoyed a five-RBI game with a homer during the streak and had a .434 on-base percentage thanks to 21 walks against 29 strikeouts in 29 games.


The strikeout total, although still high, is a major improvement from a year ago. Mitchell struck out 183 times in 129 games last season, and he hit .147 in the final month.


But Mitchell regained his form last fall in the instructional league and was a reborn hitter when he reported to Spring Training after a winter working out in Tampa.


The 23-year-old native of New Iberia, La., hit .360 with a double and two homers among his 11 hits in Cactus League play for the White Sox and kept on hitting once he got to Birmingham.


"Being away from the game for a whole year, not seeing pitching and everything, it was tough last season," Mitchell said. "You think you've got it figured out, and a couple days later it's like you haven't touched a bat in 10 years.


"Now, I'm physically back to where I was and I'm comfortable again. There is no sugarcoating last year. It was a struggle. But in the end I think I'm better for it."


Regions Park, with its distant fences, isn't an easy place to hit. But for Mitchell, it was a pleasant homecoming of sorts. LSU won two Southeastern Conference titles there during his college career.


"It brings back some good team memories," he said.


Mitchell, a wide receiver as well as center fielder, was part of two national championships at LSU. The Tigers won the BCS football title in 2007 and the College World Series in 2009, when Mitchell was the MVP.


"Both were great," he said of the national championships.


But there was no question that baseball was his sport. The White Sox, seeing Mitchell as a potential five-tool player, gave him a bonus of $1.2 million, and he appeared on the fast track to Chicago before being derailed.


Now everything is go again, and Mitchell is making up for lost time.


"I'm just taking things a day at a time," he said. "I'm having a lot of fun again."

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In his last 10 games, Jared Mitchell has struck out 16 times in 36 plate appearances.

Out of those 10 games, he has struck out twice eight times.

There has to be something mechanical going on with his swing, or the scouts have exploited something that Jared is struggling to overcome.

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