2023 draft pick Mitch Jebb could quickly become a hidden gem in the Pittsburgh Pirates farm system
In the 2nd Round of the 2023 MLB Draft, the Pittsburgh Pirates selected Mitch Jebb from Michigan State. Before getting drafted, scouts said Jebb was an above-average defender who could be a strong contact hitter who could hit at the top of the lineup.
In his 3 seasons at Michigan State between 2021 and 2023, he showed much potential to become one of the best contact hitters in the game while also being an on-base machine. He also drew more walks than he struck out. In 147 games at Michigan State, he hit .327 with 7 home runs and 97 RBIs, while also walking 82 times to 68 strikeouts for a .413 on-base percentage.
Since getting drafted, Jebb has impressed more than expected. While he has only played 34 games for Low-A Bradenton, he has shown his ability to be the Pirates' next Adam Frazier type player who helps the Pirates get runs by earning bases.
In those 34 games, he hit .297 with 1 home run and 13 RBIs but also walked 17 times and struck out 11 times, leading to an OBP of .382. With his above-average speed, he could also be a stolen base threat. In those 34 games, he stole 11 bases while getting caught once.
Jebb can play multiple positions: second base, third base, and shortstop. He has the potential to help out the Pirates in the future if he can become a lead-off hitter, allowing hitters to hit him in early, leading to more scoring.
In my opinion, Jebb could be a threat to many teams if he can hit in front of players like Ke'Bryan Hayes, Bryan Reynolds, Jack Suwinski, and others. In most cases, the team that scores first wins, and if he can bat lead-off, his advantage for the Pirates could help them lead to many wins.
Jebb is a similar hitter to the current MLB batting average leader in 2023, which is Luis Arraez, who has been dramatically helping the Marlins make a run for the playoffs despite not having the most dominant players. In 2022, the Marlins' season ended with a record of 69-93, with an estimate they should have ended the season 70-92. While you can't fully say it's because of Luis Arraez, he has played a major part in their 2023 season. Pythagorean estimates they should have a record of 67-80, but currently, they are in a playoff run with a record of 75-72.