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Jake

A thought on Jared Mitchell

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Mitchell is one of those prospects whose stats I rarely visit - I feel like I know his deal and usually there's nothing but sadness to see in his current numbers. So, with that in mind, I checked on things since he's hit so well in AA. I wanted to be able to tell myself that there could be some relevance to his AA production thus far.

 

Let's look at things chronologically. It seems to me that we really set Jared up for failure.

 

2009 - he's drafted at 20 years old and is known to be quite raw for a 4-year college player. Hits well in Kannapolis in 34 games, drawing a lot of walks and sporting a .296/.417 line. Nearly 29% K rate is a concern, but sample is small. 149 wRC+

 

2010 - Awful showing in AFL. .163/.239, 31% K rate. No power. Suffers a gruesome ankle injury in ST, misses entire season.

 

2011 - Despite time away from baseball and only 34 games experience in A- (and a pitiful AFL showing), he goes to A+. Not insane, by any stretch. He's 22 and they feel like he's too old to be in A-. Okay.

 

He puts up a .222/.304/.377 line. 34% K rate. 93 wRC+. Wasn't ready/needed more time.

 

2012 - f*** the bad year in A+, he's going to AA. And...it could have been worse. .240/.368/.440, 127 wRC+. His walks recovered a lot, which is always a good sign for a young guy. Still, very high K rate at 31%. He's 23 years old, really not too old for AA. A case of the strikeouts in particular screaming out "don't be fooled by the OBP!"

 

2013 - He starts in AAA. Not pretty. Walks dip (11.3%), strikeouts skyrocket (37.6%). At this point, we have the cajones to demote his ass despite a modestly okay OBP (.329) and wRC+ (96).

 

He falls on his face in AA, though, an obvious sign of a guy who has been jerked around so much that he's lost his grip. AA numbers are .174/.297, 70 wRC+, 14.1% BB/33% K.

 

2014 - Given all that....we put the motherf***er back in AAA. Again, he's trying to break everything we know about advanced statistics. High walks, alarming Ks again. .199/.348.

 

Now he's in AA and has hit well in the couple weeks he's been there - .340/.400, 9.7% BB/22.6% K, 194 wRC+.

 

 

So given his history, I just don't see how we could have ever had a reasonable expectation that he succeed in AAA. The fact that he had some success in AA in 2012 seemed like a fluke. I don't see how you ever promote a player with a K rate north of 30%.

 

It seems to me that we needed to just be okay with the fact that his rawness out of the draft and the major industry the next season were going to make him old for his levels and just deal with that. Instead, we've just inexplicably promoted him over and over. You hear guys like Buddy Bell complaining that he's stubborn and this or that and those things might play into his struggles...but I'd probably be reluctant to make changes when I'm incredibly overmatched too.

 

I don't know whether he'll do well in AA over the course of the season or not. Depends whether his mind is right and whether he has EVER been ready to be a AA player.

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QUOTE (Chilihead90 @ Jul 5, 2014 -> 01:30 AM)
I don't think anything derailed his career more than his ankle injury. He was looking special that spring training.

 

I remember we were all talking about him hitting the majors eventually that year.

 

Then that nasty, nasty injury.

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He always had problems with contact even before his injury. He is now a non prospect who has cleaned up in AA for a week or so. If he can't hit in AAA, he certainly can't hit major league pitching. He is filler now who supposedly has a good effect on younger guys.

 

 

 

Edited by Dick Allen

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The most important point in Jake's post is that we promoted a guy to AAA after striking out 31% of the time in AA. If that doesn't give Hahn enough merit to fire Buddy Bell I don't know what else does.

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QUOTE (Chicago White Sox @ Jul 5, 2014 -> 06:41 AM)
The most important point in Jake's post is that we promoted a guy to AAA after striking out 31% of the time in AA. If that doesn't give Hahn enough merit to fire Buddy Bell I don't know what else does.

Hawk won't allow it.

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I wonder if the Sox are using a "fail fast" approach with respect to some of their top hitting prospects. This is a common notion among entrepreneurs who would rather "fail fast," meaning that it is better to find out quickly if your idea is going to work. If it doesn't work, you can move on to something else before putting in too much time, energy, and money.

 

When you look back at Sox top hitting prospects in the KW era, many were not rushed. Yet, they often arrived in the majors with pretty important flaws in their swings or approaches. These flaws were never corrected in the minors because inferior minor league talent could not exploit their flaws.

 

Guys like Mitchell and Hawkins have both been described as stubborn and have both been aggressively pushed through the system. It seems to me that the Sox may be trying to get them to fail, so they can learn how to adapt and adjust from the failure. Hopefully they can fix fatal flaws in their hitting before they get to the majors.

 

In contrast to the KW era, when prospects needed to have gaudy minor league numbers to build their value in trades for veterans, Hahn is trying to build from within. To do so, he needs to promote guys to the major league team with some reasonable hope at succeeding. Thus, the top guys are pushed to see if they can handle the challenge so the Sox know early who might make it and who probably won't.

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QUOTE (Chicago White Sox @ Jul 5, 2014 -> 07:41 AM)
The most important point in Jake's post is that we promoted a guy to AAA after striking out 31% of the time in AA. If that doesn't give Hahn enough merit to fire Buddy Bell I don't know what else does.

 

Yes. There have to be some seriously extenuating circumstances to promote a player who strikes out in 3 out of 10 plate appearances.

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He was rushed to AAA. Don't know why. He was a college player when drafted in age only...his hit tools were high school when drafted.

They say he's a non-prospect. Maybe so. If he keeps hitting, he can get another AAA try. Don't know which AA pitchers he's faced.

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I'm not sure the Sox really helped his development, but I don't think you can entirely blame them either. A couple of points to remember:

 

-Contrary to popular belief, Mitchell did start for 3 seasons at LSU. Yes, I know he was playing football as well for the the first couple of years, but the fact remains that he did get three full college seasons under his belt. When he joined the organization he wasn't necessarily as raw as advertised, which is important because:

 

-He had significant contact issues in college:

 

 

09 Jared Mitchell... .327 67-66 226 64 74 14 5 11 50 131 .580 57 4 64 0 .470 0 3 36-45 108 3 4 .965

08 Jared Mitchell... .297 52-42 175 44 52 10 1 6 29 82 .469 15 3 49 0 .363 0 5 16-18 80 3 3 .965

07 Jared Mitchell... .258 55-55 209 41 54 8 1 3 21 73 .349 17 9 49 5 .340 0 0 18-20 123 3 10 .926

 

His 1st 2 season he whiffed about 1 in 4 PAs, and while he improved his Jr. season that rate is still pretty high. Keep in mind that .327 average, while impressive, was just a shade higher than LSU's team BA of .315. This was the era of more lax restrictions on aluminum/composite bats. I would be very interested to know how many college players with similar K rates excel in the pros, especially those lacking plus-power. My guess is that it is a very small fraction.

 

I think a much more likely scenario is that he was playing somewhat over his head in Kanny in 2009, and then missing a year of development at a proper level (low A) due to injury coupled with an organization that can't seem to be bothered with stressing plate discipline torpedoed any slim chance he may have had to blossom into a ML-quality player.

Edited by Dizzy Sox

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22% K rate isn't exactly alarming and you can't ignore his team-leading OBP either.

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We do a pretty craptastic job of developing any kind of offensive prospects as well, which doesn't help.

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QUOTE (Dizzy Sox @ Jul 5, 2014 -> 05:24 PM)
-Contrary to popular belief, Mitchell did start for 3 seasons at LSU. Yes, I know he was playing football as well for the the first couple of years, but the fact remains that he did get three full college seasons under his belt. When he joined the organization he wasn't necessarily as raw as advertised, which is important because:

Sounds like you think he just wasn't that great in college. could be.

But he was raw, despite that college experience, likely because of all the time spent on football, versus honing his baseball skills. I live in LSU country, and while I'm not a LSU fan, he was one of those players that you knew had talent but just wasn't a complete player yet. Maybe I'm confusing raw with just a lack of ability, and that could be.

He was drafted for his tools, but, they were at just a bit more advanced than high school development so when you look at the time for an expected matriculation, you're looking at 25 instead of 22, and with any setbacks, it's 27 or 28 instead of 24 or 25. But that's also why I haven't given up on him, although with raw tools guys, the hit rate is always low anyway.

Edited by GreenSox

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QUOTE (Jake @ Jul 4, 2014 -> 03:07 PM)
Mitchell is one of those prospects whose stats I rarely visit - I feel like I know his deal and usually there's nothing but sadness to see in his current numbers. So, with that in mind, I checked on things since he's hit so well in AA. I wanted to be able to tell myself that there could be some relevance to his AA production thus far.

 

Let's look at things chronologically. It seems to me that we really set Jared up for failure.

 

2009 - he's drafted at 20 years old and is known to be quite raw for a 4-year college player. Hits well in Kannapolis in 34 games, drawing a lot of walks and sporting a .296/.417 line. Nearly 29% K rate is a concern, but sample is small. 149 wRC+

 

2010 - Awful showing in AFL. .163/.239, 31% K rate. No power. Suffers a gruesome ankle injury in ST, misses entire season.

 

2011 - Despite time away from baseball and only 34 games experience in A- (and a pitiful AFL showing), he goes to A+. Not insane, by any stretch. He's 22 and they feel like he's too old to be in A-. Okay.

 

He puts up a .222/.304/.377 line. 34% K rate. 93 wRC+. Wasn't ready/needed more time.

 

2012 - f*** the bad year in A+, he's going to AA. And...it could have been worse. .240/.368/.440, 127 wRC+. His walks recovered a lot, which is always a good sign for a young guy. Still, very high K rate at 31%. He's 23 years old, really not too old for AA. A case of the strikeouts in particular screaming out "don't be fooled by the OBP!"

 

2013 - He starts in AAA. Not pretty. Walks dip (11.3%), strikeouts skyrocket (37.6%). At this point, we have the cajones to demote his ass despite a modestly okay OBP (.329) and wRC+ (96).

 

He falls on his face in AA, though, an obvious sign of a guy who has been jerked around so much that he's lost his grip. AA numbers are .174/.297, 70 wRC+, 14.1% BB/33% K.

 

2014 - Given all that....we put the motherf***er back in AAA. Again, he's trying to break everything we know about advanced statistics. High walks, alarming Ks again. .199/.348.

 

Now he's in AA and has hit well in the couple weeks he's been there - .340/.400, 9.7% BB/22.6% K, 194 wRC+.

 

 

So given his history, I just don't see how we could have ever had a reasonable expectation that he succeed in AAA. The fact that he had some success in AA in 2012 seemed like a fluke. I don't see how you ever promote a player with a K rate north of 30%.

 

It seems to me that we needed to just be okay with the fact that his rawness out of the draft and the major industry the next season were going to make him old for his levels and just deal with that. Instead, we've just inexplicably promoted him over and over. You hear guys like Buddy Bell complaining that he's stubborn and this or that and those things might play into his struggles...but I'd probably be reluctant to make changes when I'm incredibly overmatched too.

 

I don't know whether he'll do well in AA over the course of the season or not. Depends whether his mind is right and whether he has EVER been ready to be a AA player.

 

 

1. Buddy Bell is terrible.

2. You left out Mitchell ripping up the AFL last season with a .304/.425/.580 line before heading back to AAA this season. When Mitchell was drafted, the commentators said he had a lot of tools but his pitch recognition was pretty poor, they mentioned that playing football took time away from his development so he had a chance to be good if he were able to improve his pitch recognition now that he wouldn't be spending time on the gridiron.

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He's had a couple of good weeks in AA.

 

Other than that, he's mostly a whiff king.

 

His numbers will subside in Birmingham and he will not be with the Sox next season.

 

 

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QUOTE (IowaSoxFan @ Jul 7, 2014 -> 01:35 PM)
1. Buddy Bell is terrible.

2. You left out Mitchell ripping up the AFL last season with a .304/.425/.580 line before heading back to AAA this season. When Mitchell was drafted, the commentators said he had a lot of tools but his pitch recognition was pretty poor, they mentioned that playing football took time away from his development so he had a chance to be good if he were able to improve his pitch recognition now that he wouldn't be spending time on the gridiron.

I don't think his playing football at LSU kept hhim from being a big leaguer.

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