Mitchell Jordan held his own in his freshman year at Stetson last season. Nothing special, but respectable for a freshman: a 5.64 ERA, 6.55 K/9, and 2.6 K/BB over 68.2 innings. He followed that up with a showing in the New England Collegiate Baseball League in which he collated a 2.20 ERA, 7.44 K/9, and a strong 9.0 K/BB over 32.2 innings. Showing much improvement, but the right hander still had a long way to go coming into this season. All of that changed in the Cape Cod Baseball League last summer, though.
Jordan was, undeniably, the player of the league, placing himself firmly on the map for this year's draft. In posting an ERA of 0.20 (just one earned run over his 43 innings of work), he tied a league record. He allowed just two extra-base hits. Perhaps, however, more impressive were his strikeout and walk rates: 9.6 K/9, and a 1.2 BB/9. Given the Astros' propensity for drafting Cape Cod League alums, and an appreciation for K/BB rates, I'd imagine Jordan is on their radar.
He is following up his remarkable Cape Cod League showing with an okay Division One campaign, thus far (of course, relative to his summer performance, everything he does is likely to be an anti-climax). Through 51 innings, he has struck out 54 batters (a similar rate to the one he improved to over summer, showing his increased strikeout rate isn't a fluke), whilst walking 17, and allowing 52 hits, making for an ERA of 4.70 and a WHIP of 1.35.
To borrow some words from Minor League Ball, Johnson has a nice, compact delivery that helps his velocity, and a curveball that shows some potential. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound pitcher impressed his pitching coach in the Cape Cod League with his advanced control, including control of all three of his pitches (the aforementioned fastball, which sits between 88 - 93 mph, curveball and a changeup.) Concerning his mechanics, I can't help but see Yusmeiro Petit: the king of deception. Their wind-up is very similar, and whilst Jordan throws from a lower slot, there are lots of similarities between the two.
I see Jordan's best case scenario as a solid #2 pitcher, or an excellent #3 pitcher. He lacks standout stuff, but his control is highly desirable, and extremely impressive. If his secondary pitches develop, and he can maintain his high strikeout ratios, these lofty expectations may well come true. His Cape Cod League pitching coach drew comparisons between Jordan and Corey Kluber, but those are incredibly high expectations, unlikely to come true.
I can see Jordan panning out in a Major League Bullpen, most likely in a long-relief role. His impressive command, and ability to go multiple innings lend himself to such a role. Of course, especially considering his mechanics, he could dial up more velocity and become a decent middle-relief guy, with an okay curveball to pair with it. With excellent command, there's a decent chance he pitches in a major league rotation in some capacity.
Projected Draft Round
Jordan appeared on Baseball America's provisional Top-100 College Prospects list, but slipped out of the overall Top-100 list. The Astros hold the 97th, and the 127th overall picks. So, I could see the Astros (if they liked Johnson enough, of course) selecting him with one of these two picks, in the third or fourth round, as a realistic target.