Prospect Profile: Bryan Mitchell

2014 Stats:

Level: AA/AAA/MLB

26 G   114 IP   20.4% K%   9.7% BB%   2.2% HR%   50.8% GB%   4.18 ERA   3.93 FIP

Mitchell ranked #9 on Chris’ Yankees top 100 prospects list.

Background:

Bryan Mitchell‘s been in the Yankees system for a while. Drafted in the 16th round out of high school in 2009, he’s already exceeded expectations of most guys taken at that point of the draft. The right-handers numbers haven’t popped out in his minor league career, but his stuff has. He’s got a mid-90s fastball and a curveball that Baseball America ranked best in the organization after the 2012 season.

What he did in 2014:

The soon-to-be 24 year-old made three stops last season, spending time in Trenton, Scranton, and the Bronx. His performance in the minors wasn’t anything special, but did get a three game cameo with the Yankees before all was said and done. In Double-A, he posted a 4.84 ERA/4.09 FIP in in 61.1 innings. His strikeout rate at the level was solid (22.1%) but his control was iffy (10.1%). In 41.2 frames at Triple-A, Mitchell’s ERA was better (3.67), but he might have been a bit lucky (4.44 FIP). Finally, he put up a 2.45 ERA/3.22 FIP in 11 big league innings, including a respectable 5 inning, 2 run start against Baltimore on September 12th.

What Kiley McDaniel says:

Mitchell has been maddeningly inconsistent with his feel and command, but got a cup of coffee in 2014 and looks ready to contribute in the big leagues in some way. Mitchell reminds me of Chris Tillman and that’s the 3rd/4th starter upside you’re hoping for here. Mitchell sits 92-94 and will run it up to 98 mph at times, with a knockout curveball that’s plus when he stays on top of it and a cutter and changeup that are both average at times.  He’s becoming more of a pitcher rather than thrower and could become a starter, but also has the stuff to break into the big leagues as a late inning reliever.

What KATOH says:

Mitchell KATOH

The former 16th-rounder isn’t much of a prospect according to KATOH. The projection system doesn’t realize Mitchell’s already made the majors, but no matter. Based on the 100+ innings between Double-A and Triple-A, KATOH is not impressed. Walk percentage is one of the most predictive measures of future success at both levels, and control has been something Mitchell’s scuffled with. Walking 10% of your opponents isn’t going to fly in the long run.

2015 Outlook:

Mitchell’s the ace of the Triple-A staff, last night’s poor performance notwithstanding, and might be the first guy promoted if the Yankees need a spot start. Regardless of whether or not he’s the first in line, expect to see Mitchell in the Bronx at some point this year. As we all know, pitchers get hurt and teams tend to need eight or nine different starters each season.

In the long run, Mitchell’s repertoire could translate into a mid-rotation starter as Kiley McDaniel notes. The big issue, as I’ve highlighted, is command. If he can improve his location, he’ll find a big league role as a starter. Otherwise, the righty will wind up in the bullpen. That might not be a bad spot for him considering the stuff. Either way, Mitchell has already been a huge success for the Yankees. Not many 16th rounders get this far in their baseball careers.

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