Prospect Profile: D.J. Mitchell

Mitchell started his professional career in Charleston, going 4-1 over 37 innings for the RiverDogs.  He had a 1.95 ERA, allowing just six walks and striking out 42.  This earned his a quick promotion to Tampa, where he continued to impress.  He rounded out the 2009 season going 8-6 over 103.1 innings in Tampa, with a 2.87 ERA.  His walks went up, allowing 38 free passes, but Mitchell continued to tally up the Ks, striking out 93.

After some smooth sailing, Mitchell finally had a few bumps in his road to the majors last season.  Starting the year in Trenton, Mitchell struggled with his mechanics, issuing a career high 45 walks before the All-Star Break.  Mitchell seemed to get things under control after the break, allowing just nineteen walks the rest of the season.  Despite his 4.06 ERA and early control problems, Mitchell earned another promotion, ending the 2010 season in Scranton.  He went 2-0 over 17.2 innings with a 3.57 ERA and a 2.58 FIP.

Mitchell seems to have quietly turned the corner this season, putting together a solid season in Scranton.  He was put together a 3.20 ERA in fifteen starts and two relief appearances, throwing three complete games and back-to-back shutouts.  So far, he has issued 35 walks and struck out 66, while allowing just four homers.

Mitchell throws four pitches and has developed them all well, though he can still struggle with his command.  He is a sinkerball pitcher with a two-seamer that has a lot of movement.  It goes down and in on right-handed batters and goes between 90-93 mph.  Mitchell’s two-seamer can be both a contact out pitch as well as a strikeout pitch.  He doe not use his four-seamer as much, but it is an effective pitch that has hit 94 mph.

Mitchell has developed his off-speed pitches into legitimate big league pitches.  His curveball is a strikeout pitch that sits at 78-81 mph.  His curve dives down over the plate and can be a major weapon.  In 2010, Mitchell developed his changeup into a plus pitch that also has a lot of movement.  Mitchell has struggled with command of these pitches, especially given their movement, but has started to be able to adjust and find that command during a game.

While Mitchell does pitch for early contact, when he gets ahead of batters his secondary pitches help him get the Ks.  He needs to continue to work on pitching to the outside of the plate.  An athletic pitcher, Mitchell has the potential to be a strong fielding pitcher with a good pickoff move.

While it is hard to guess what the Yankees may do, Mitchell should get a shot at the Majors at some point this season.  Of course, this could be slowed down if the Yankees relievers return and stay healthy, and Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia continue to surprise everyone.  He projects to be a solid middle of the rotation starter who can go deep into games when he has good command of his pitches.  He has also shown the versatility to pitch out of the bullpen, which gives the Yankees options.

About Tamar Chalker

Tamar has written for IIATMS since July 2009, having started off writing game recaps before shifting to the minor leagues. Born in Connecticut and having lived all over the country and in South Korea, Tamar now finds herself "temporarily misplaced" in New Hampshire. Please send help - I can pay you in maple syrup.

2 thoughts on “Prospect Profile: D.J. Mitchell

  1. Out of DJ Mitchell, Adam Warren, and David Phelps which three project to be the best starter?