Celebrating a non-prized prospect

According to Goldstein, Mitchell is a sinkerball specialist who may see some major league innings this season. That would be fun. It may be totally meaningless, but Mitchell has been a nice surprise this spring. He has pitched three times for a total of seven innings. He has given up only three hits and two walks while striking out five. Mitchell has yet to give up a run this spring. After a recent bad outing by Manny Banuelos, Joe Girardi used D.J. Mitchell as a comparison to what Banuelos did not do correctly. That had to feel good to hear for Mitchell.

Much like Mitchell’s rankings, his minor league pitching stats do not blow you away. He’s done a great job preventing home runs and has a minor league career rate of only 0.5 per nine innings. But his strikeout and walk rates do not look overly impressive at 6.9 and 3.4 respectively. He is not overly stingy at allowing base hits and has averaged 8.5 hits per nine innings over his minor league career. But again, he is 38-20 in the minors with a 3.28 ERA. And he hasn’t suffered moving up to Triple A where he has been 15-9 with a 3.22 ERA.

Look, D.J. Mitchell is not going to make the team this season. And if the Yankees need to plug some holes in the rotation during the season, the call will probably go to Adam Warren and David Phelps. But D.J. Mitchell has caught my fancy on a pure whimsical level. He reminds me of another unsung prospect sinkerball pitcher the Yankees once had in Chien-Ming Wang. Wang didn’t work out too badly for the Yankees, no? It would be great fun to see Mitchell get a call and see if he can continue to beat those overwhelming odds he has been so good at beating up to this point.

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

3 thoughts on “Celebrating a non-prized prospect

  1. Jacques

    He'll Probably be a mop-up reliever for few games like noesi last year at most. But insurance won't hurt :)

  2. The Comedian

    Well, given the possibility of Robertson taking over as closer at some point what about Mitchell moving into his 8th inning spot? Yes,I'm assuming Soriano will not stay a yankee long.

  3. josephdelgrippo

    Mitchell's overall lack of consistent strike throwing during his career would negate any chance for a late inning reliever role. Mitchell's sinker moves so much that it is very difficult to catch. Romine said to me back in late 2010, that its the best pitch of any Yankee prospect, moving "about a foot."

    Right now, Phelps and Warren are both better suited for any relief roles. They have better ability to throw strikes and command within the zone.

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