After being selected 42nd overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2023 MLB Draft, infielder Mitch Jebb quickly turned heads and impressed with the Low-A Bradenton Marauders
With the 42nd overall pick in last July's MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected infielder Mitch Jebb out of Michigan State University. This came on the heels of Jebb hitting for a .337/.438/.495 slash line during his final season in East Lansing.
Jebb had also previously found success in the Cape Cod League, something that Pirate general manager Ben Cherington has always valued. Playing for the Hyannis Harbor Hawks of the Cape Cod League last summer, Jebb hit for a .356/.429/.490 slash line with 13 extra base hits and 26 stolen bases.
After being selected by the Pirates, Jebb quickly signed with the team receiving $1.65 million signing bonus. Jebb made his professional debut with the Bradenton Marauders on July 26th, just 12 dasy after signing with the Pirates, and quickly made an impact.
Jebb went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored in his professional debut. His double was a hustling doubling on a ground ball to right field, allowing him to quickly showcase the speed and effort he plays the game with.
In 34 games played with the Marauders, Jebb hit for a .297/.386/.398 slash line with a 116 wRC+ in 153 plate appearances. Jebb drew walks at an 11.1% rate and struck out in just 7.2% of his trips to plate. He hit a home run, 6 doubles, 2 triples, and stole 11 bases.
Jebb appeared in 18 games at both second base and shortstop. He made 15 starts at second base and 17 at shortstop. He often times hit at the top of the lineup for the Marauders where his strong on-base skills and speed were both weapons.
Another encouraging sign from Jebb in 2023 was his batting average on balls in play (BABIP). His BABIP was .308, which does not indicate that he was the beneficiary of good luck/poor defense, and does not indicate that he is due for regression. It is not uncommon to see a hitter with a low strikeout rate benefit from a high BABIP, but that was not the case with Jebb.
When the 2024 season begins Jebb will likely be back with Bradenton. However, it would not at all be a surprise to see the 21-year-old climb the Pirate farm system during the 2024 season. The left-handed hitter should absolutely reach High-A Greensboro at some point, and being an advanced college hitter could even lead to Jebb moving quick enough to work his way to Double-A Altoona late in the season.