With the 50th overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates selected outfielder Cal Mitchell. The left-handed hitting Mitchell was viewed as one of the top prep outfielders in the draft and quickly started to climb the Pirate minor league season.
Entering the 2019 season Mitchell appeared to be on the cusp of top-100 prospect status. He went on to post a strong 110 wRC+, with 15 home runs and an 8.4% extra base hit rate in his first taste of the High-A level. However, without a minor league season in 2020 Mitchell began to become a bit of a forgotten man in the Pirate farm system.
Last season Mitchell had 440 plate appearances in 115 games played between the Double-A and Triple-A levels. He hit for a .279/.328/.423 slash line to go with a 104 wRC+. Not great numbers, but not terrible either.
The now 22-year-old Mitchell is on track to make his MLB debut during the 2022 season. This is a contributing factor to him being a prospect the Pirates could lose in the Rule 5 Draft. Mitchell can play all three outfield spots and can do so at a high level. While his offense has yet to progress as much as originally hoped, he still owns a 110 wRC+ in 1613 professional PAs.
Any team looking for a fourth outfielder could be interested in Mitchell. It would not be difficult to keep him on a roster for an entire season as a fourth outfielder. Even a team that is not necessarily in the market for outfield help, but simply likes the potential of Mitchell, could be interested in him for the same reason. Mitchell will be a player to watch when the Rule 5 Draft takes place.