Pittsburgh Pirates Top 20 Prospects: Number 16 Overall

(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images) /

Spring Training is a few weeks in, we have started to rank the Top 20 prospects in the Pittsburgh Pirates system. Here is number 16 overall.

Over the years, the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system was considered one of the best farm systems in baseball.  However, after enjoying a period of playoff baseball, and in turn picking lower in the draft, they have seen their system fall toward the middle of the pack.  Still, rankings by scouting websites are not everything.  They have plenty of intriguing prospects who could break out just as much as a team with a top farm system.  With that being said, we have come up with our top 20 prospects for the 2018 season.  The articles will look at each player, starting at 20 and working toward one. So far we have looked at pitchers Clay Holmes at number 20, Gage Hinsz at number 19, and Travis MacGregor at 18.  Furthermore, left-handed starter Braeden Ogle was ranked at number 17.

So who is the Pittsburgh Pirates number 16 overall prospect?  Calvin Mitchell was the Pittsburgh Pirates second round pick last season, and he has the potential to have a big year.  The Bucs invested the number 50 overall picked on the left-handed hitting outfielder.  Mitchell at one point was a potential first round pick, but he had a somewhat down senior year.  The outfielder from California was ranked as the number 79 overall prospect at the time of the draft, so the Bucs must have liked what they saw in terms of his potential.


The Pittsburgh Pirates were able to sign Mitchell to an under slot deal.  The number 50 overall pick had a value of $1.357 million, the Bucs locked the 6’1” athlete up for $1.3 million flat. After the signing, the Pittsburgh Pirates assigned Mitchell to the Gulf Coast League.   He appeared in 43 games and posted 159 at-bats.  In those games he did not put up amazing numbers, but solid numbers for his first professional experience, slashing .245/.351/.352.  Obviously, his on-base percentage is the stat that sticks out the most.  He walked in over half the games he played with 23 free passes, and he also had 39 hits.  He added two home runs and 11 doubles, while striking out 35 times.

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The big thing with Mitchell is his raw potential.  He is noted as very projectable and athletic, and he likely will be best suited for left field with his bat being his best tool.  Mitchell is left-handed with a natural power stroke.  As he grows into his 6’1” and 190 pound frame, he will start to tap into his raw power.  He has shown the ability to make a lot of contact but at times gets a little pull happy according to MLB Pipeline.  The key for Mitchell will be to learn how to drive the ball to all fields and add power later as he develops.  He will likely be in Low-A West Virginia this year.