Mitchell Looking For A Comeback

Outfielder ready to move forward





CHICAGO—In one of his final at-bats of major league spring training, Jared Mitchell left a favorable impression on the White Sox coaching staff.

Mitchell ripped a home run that landed in the Astros bullpen at Minute Maid Park, finishing the spring with a .367 batting average.

"It's a really good feeling," Mitchell said. "It's great to have everything feeling right again. I'm excited to get the year started and get off to a good start."

Mitchell, 23, is determined to prove his 2011 performance was a fluke. After missing all of 2010 because of a left ankle injury sustained when he crashed into a fence at Tempe Diablo Stadium, Mitchell spent all of 2011 trying to his timing back.
He batted .222/.304/.377 at high Class A Winston-Salem, and more alarming was that he struck out 183 times and stole just 14 bases.

"Last year was different, just getting used to the feel of everything again," said Mitchell, a first-round pick out of Louisiana State in the 2009 draft. "This year I'm getting back into the regular feel of it and don't feel so far out from everything. I feel fresh."

Mitchell admits it was tough to concentrate on returning to form last year without getting positive results.

"It's hard to do while you're (returning from a long layoff) because you obviously want to do well, but at the end of the day you have to sit back and realize where you're at and evaluate it from there," Mitchell said. "All you can do is go day-by-day and let it run its course."

Mitchell said he made a couple of undisclosed adjustments with his batting stance in spring training and hopes to bring that to Double-A Birmingham, where he opened this season hitting .302/.421/.524 with 20 strikeouts and 12 walks in 63 at-bats.

Chi-lites

• The Sox signed Conor Jackson, a first-round pick of Arizona in 2003 and a career .271 major league hitter, to a minor league contract. Jackson, 29, initially worked out at third base, a position he last played at California in 2003, but he opened in right field at Triple-A Charlotte.

• Righthander Kip Wells, a first-round pick of the Sox in 1998, was signed after a private workout at Minute Maid Park and assigned to extended spring training. Wells, 34, was 20-21, 5.14 with Chicago from 1999-2001 but hasn't pitched in the majors since going 2-3, 4.66 in 2009 with Reds.