Pittsburgh Pirates Top 10 Prospects Season Rewind: Cal Mitchell


Outfielder Cal Mitchell has been shooting up the Pittsburgh Pirates top prospects list, checking in at number 5 on the team’s MLB Pipeline top 30 prospects list

With the 50th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected outfielder Cal Mitchell. The left-handed hitting Mitchell was selected out of Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego, California.

After being drafted, it did not take Mitchell long to make an impact and impress. Mitchell slashed .245/.351/.352 with a 104 wRC+ with the Gulf Coast League Pirates in 2017. Then in 2018, he slashed .280/.344/.427 and posted a 127 wRC+ with the Low-A West Virginia Power.

Due to getting off to a strong start in his professional career, despite not turning 20-years-old until during Spring Training, Mitchell started the 2019 season with the High-A Bradenton Marauders. This is where Mitchell would spend his entire 2019 campaign.

In 118 games for the Marauders in 2019 Mitchell slashed .251/.304/.406. He posted a .155 ISO, 110 wRC+, an 8.4% extra base hit rate, and he slugged 15 home runs. One big knock on Mitchell last season, however, was his 28.8% strikeout rate. In addition to a career high strikeout rate, Mitchell’s 6.5% walk rate was a new career low.

While Mitchell’s results at the High-A level in 2019 were nothing special, he was still an above league average hitter. Most importantly, he logged 493 plate appearances at the High-A level during his age 20 season.

Not only is Mitchell quickly climbing the Pirates’ top prospects list, but he is also climbing top-100 lists. Baseball Prospectus ranks Mitchell as the 97th best prospect in all of baseball. It would not be a surprise to see Mitchell crack more than one top-100 list in 2020.

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Mitchell will likely start the 2020 season back with Bradenton. However, barring a season filled with struggles, injuries and/or an inability to produce at the plate Mitchell should reach the Double-A level at some point next summer. This would put Mitchell on pace to reach, if not start at, the Triple-A level during the 2021 season. That would put Mitchell on the doorstep of the MLB level, giving him an ETA at the MLB level of 2021.