All aboard the Milwaukee Brewers Garrett Mitchell hype train. Toot! Toot!
The 20th pick in the 2020 draft has had an impressive first Spring Training for Milwaukee. Even though it is a small sample size, it is amazing that the outfielder dropped to the Brewers last year.
It’s hard to guarantee the success of a player this early, but if Mitchell continues to play at a high level throughout 2021, is there a chance he is part of the September calls ups?
Anything is possible. There could be injuries, trades and if for some silly reason Ryan Braun doesn’t return at any point. Mitchell is very likely the next huge superstar brought up through the Brewers system.
Mitchell was originally considered to be a top five draft choice. The 2020 MLB Draft was unique for a few reasons. The MLB shut down operations along with all other major sports for months. Due to no live sports, the draft was live on major sports networks like ESPN and MLB Network in June of 2020. Several teams had lost picks due to sign-stealing scandals.
None of the teams knew what was in store for that year or if their draft picks would even commit or play with them that year. Mitchell might have been a casualty of all of that, which worked on in the Brewers favor.
Other have speculated that teams were worried about his Type 1 Diabetes. The California native has dealt with it his entire life, and clearly shown he can play just fine. Having diabetes didn’t handicap him his entire playing career so far, and it makes you wonder why teams thought it would be a concern at all. No matter what really happened with the other 19 teams, Milwaukee has him and might have drafted their next big player.
2021 Spring Training
Mitchell already has heads turning at his first Major League Spring Training. As of March 14th, he has had 14 at-bats and has a .571 batting average, eight hits, four RBIs, a stolen base and hit his first home run.
Garrett Mitchell hit his first HR today
The Brewers 1st Rd pick is batting .538🔥pic.twitter.com/axq47f5HQE
— IKE Brewers Podcast (@IKE_Brewers) March 14, 2021
He’s already impressed Brewers hitting coach Andy Haines as well:
Andy Haines on Garrett Mitchell's camp: "I think it's difficult for a first-round pick to exceed expectations in Major League Spring Training — I think that's very difficult — and he's done that and more."
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 13, 2021
Here’s Andy Haines explaining what he meant when he told Garrett Mitchell to “just be where your feet are” as he embarks on a pro career.
(I don’t know about you but I could listen to Andy talk about this stuff all day.) pic.twitter.com/3KMOEByhym
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) March 13, 2021
With a team full of outfielders and prospects already, the fact that Mitchell is already making headlines is a very good thing. It’s been a while since a young player has been hyped like Mitchell from Milwaukee.
The Brewers have had their fair share of first round busts, but it appears that trend is going away. Players like Keston Hiura (2017), Brice Turang (2018) and Ethan Small (2019) should all be starting players together within a few years. Mitchell will probably be there too.
Current Brewers seem to enjoy his company already. All good signs for Milwaukee.
Brent Suter on Garrett Mitchell: "He's a good hitter, man. He's impressive. Gets down the line hard. Is a good kid."
— Tom (@Haudricourt) March 13, 2021
Could He Be On the 2021 Roster?
It’s exciting to think about, but the 2022 season is more likely. Garrett currently has no minor league games under his belt. There are also a lot of outfielders right now for him to compete with. If they bring him up this year, it leads to an active service time clock. That means less minor league options down the road and a harder arbitration process for Milwaukee down the line.
Let’s compare Mitchell to a player like Bryce Harper. He was drafted by the Nationals in 2010. He made his debut for Washington in April of 2012. It was always a matter of when and not if for Harper, but he still needed some minor league experience. One of the best players in the league still took almost two years to make it to The Show.
A lot would need to happen first for Mitchell to be called up. Several current Brewers outfielders would need to be injured. Then players in the minor leagues like Tyrone Taylor, Corey Ray and Tristen Lutz would need to be either already be on the roster or traded/released. Players like Mark Mathias, who can play as an outfielder and an infielder, would also need to be unavailable for selection.
In reality, there is no need to rush Mitchell. 2022 might and could be the year he makes his debut. But if Garrett keeps hitting and playing the way he has started Spring Training, you never know.
No one would have predicted that Daniel Vogelbach would end the 2020 season as the Brewers first baseman. Is saying that Mitchell has a chance to be called up in September any less crazy or unpredictable?
Until then, we can enjoy watching Mitchell’s progress in the minors:
The following players were reassigned to Minor League Camp today: OF Tristen Lutz, OF Garrett Mitchell, INF Brice Turang, LHP Clayton Andrews, RHP Jake Cousins, RHP Thomas Jankins, RHP Miguel Sánchez, LHP Ethan Small and LHP Quintin Torres-Costa.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) March 12, 2021