Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Potential Rule 5 Draft Casualities

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Pittsburgh Pirates
Mar 1, 2021; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates Cal Mitchell (91) poses during media day at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: MLB Photos via USA Today Sports /

Outfielder Cal Mitchell

The Pirates’ second-round pick in 2017, outfielder Cal Mitchell had a solid season down at Double-A Altoona. With the number of outfielders the Pirates have, they elected not to protect Mitchell, despite his decent season.

Through 419 plate appearances, Mitchell posted a .280/.330/.429 line, .332 wOBA, and 106 wRC+. He also hit 12 home runs while having a strong 16.9% strikeout rate. Though overall, he only had a .159 isolated slugging percentage and walked at a poor 5.9% rate. There are not very many adjectives that describe the season other than ‘solid’. Nothing spectacular, nothing poor. Just slightly above league average production.

Mitchell was eventually promoted to Triple-A where he got 21 plate appearances but struggled to a measly .240/.286/.300 line, .268 wOBA, and 59 wRC+. Again though, very small sample size. Mitchell projects to have about average power with an average glove. Though he’s a bit on the slower side and his hit tool projects at just 45.

Mitchell isn’t a prime candidate to get selected. There’s nothing that he does extremely poorly, nor is there anything that he does extremely well. While there’s a chance he might get selected, I don’t think it’s very high. As much as he strikeouts, teams would rather go after a Martin than a Cal Mitchell. Get a guy who has at least one elite tool and hope to develop the others compared to a guy who might be slightly more developed overall, but doesn’t do anything to a fantastic degree.