Height: 6'3'', 225 lbs.
It's been a pretty down year for Big 12 baseball in 2013.The league only has one team ranked in the top 30 (regular season champion Kansas State), a far cry from the days when Texas ruled the conference. But this article isn't about me lamenting my school's utter failure in this great sport...no, this article profiles one of the Big 12's highly-rated college pitchers in TCU's Andrew Mitchell, a power arm out of Texas Christian University. Mitchell is a local guy, out of Stratford high school in the middle of Houston.
Mitchell has split time between the bullpen and starting rotation at TCU. In 2011, his freshman year, he made 10 starts and 12 relief appearances, posting a 2.84 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 76 innings. Mitchell's sophomore season was a little more up and down. He drastically increased his strikeout total in about the same number of innings, running it up to 101 K's in 77 innings. However, his command wasn't as good, as his walks increased from 31 to 46. Mitchell made 16 starts in 2012, and only one relief appearance.
Mitchell's ERA has spiked in 2013 to 3.68, and his command is still an issue, as he's allowed 30 walks in 48 innings. His results haven't been up there with the top college pitchers this season, but his stuff is what will get him drafted pretty highly. Mitchell is your classic college power pitcher. He can dial his fastball up to the mid 90s, and throws a powerful breaking ball that sits in the high 70s-low 80s. Mitchell also adds a changeup, but it's not anything special right now. Mitchell is a big bodied individual with a pretty easy delivery that he repeats well. He uses a high leg kick, and almost looks like an "inverted W" pitcher, but doesn't quite get to that point.
Mitchell's success will come down to two things: his ability to develop his breaking ball into a plus pitch, and refining his command. I wouldn't be worried about the breaking ball, as it already looks like an asset. The command is the biggest question though, as his numbers haven't been particularly good that category in college. But with two above average to plus pitches, he could find a lot of success in a big league bullpen.
If his command and secondary pitches improve, Mitchell could be a #2 starter with some killer stuff. The big fastball would already play well in a bullpen, but anything on top of that just adds to his potential as an MLB starter.
Projected Draft Round
The second and third tiers of college pitching in this draft are all fairly close in upside. If a team falls in love with Mitchell's potential and stuff, which is pretty high for a college pitcher, he could go in the second round. I see him falling somewhere between rounds 3-5 though. He's ranked 71 overall by Matt Garrioch in his draft book
Will He Sign?
As a college junior, I see no reason why Mitchell wouldn't sign. His stuff is what will get him drafted more than his numbers, which may not improve much in a fourth season in Fort Worth.
ANDREW MITCHELL PROSPECT VIDEO, RHP, TCU (via Steve Fiorindo)
ANDREW MITCHELL, RHP, TCU, PITCHING MECHANICS AT 200 FPS (via Steve Fiorindo)
"In general, it’s been a difficult spring for many of the nation’s top college arms, if not always in terms of pure statistical performances. Some pitchers have simply been difficult for scouts to get a handle on for one reason or another. TCU’s Andrew Mitchell fits into that category. For Mitchell, it’s been a season in which he’s split time between the bullpen and starting for the Horned Frogs, and experienced mixed results in both roles. But, the hard throwing right-hander will continue to attract attention in the top couple rounds given his plus raw stuff and strong build."- Perfect Game
From Baseball America's Aaron Fitt (3/21/2013):
"Schlossnagle said Mitchell has done a better job pitching down in the zone with his fastball than he did in his uneven stint as a starter last year, and his changeup is better than it was last year, so he looks better equipped to handle starting. One scout said "guys are getting excited about Andrew Mitchell," citing better command of a fastball that reaches 96 and his trademark wipeout power curve."