- Full name Bryan Bedford Mitchell
- Born 04/19/1991 in Reidsville, NC
- Profile Ht.: 6'2" / Wt.: 215 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Rockingham County
- Debut 08/10/2014
Drafted in the 16th round (495th overall) by the New York Yankees in 2009 (signed for $800,000).
View Draft ReportRighthanders Bryan Mitchell and Chris Overman entered the spring as the top prep pitchers in the state before Daniel Tuttle passed them with his explosive stuff out of the bullpen. Mitchell is 6-foot-2, 175 pounds, and has some life on his downhill fastball, which can touch 90-91 mph. He also spins a power slider and throws his fastball for strikes. Concerns about his future projection, as well as a commitment to North Carolina could cause him to fall out of the first 10 rounds.
Organization Prospect Rankings
The Yankees lured Mitchell from a commitment to North Carolina with an $800,000 bonus in 2009, and his stuff never has been the problem. Instead, his biggest issues have related to command of his arsenal and retaining his concentration and focus on the mound. At Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2015, Mitchell had his best season, earning him a June promotion back to New York. He dealt with an oblique strain at midseason but recovered to make several more appearances with the big club, including a few starts. His two primary offerings are still his high-octane fastball, which sits around 97 mph and hits 100, and low-80s hammer curveball, but he also incorporates an above-average cutter and an occasional changeup to complete his mix. Mitchell's walk rate remains too high for a rotation spot--4.4 per nine innings at Triple-A--but his stuff is just so explosive that he should easily fill a role as a reliever. With the Yankees flush with starting pitching, Mitchell could continue in a swing role in New York or get more time at Scranton working as a starter.
After being steered away from his commitment to North Carolina, Mitchell's outlook has remained static in pro ball: The stuff is there, but the command isn't. That's still true, but on a much smaller scale in 2014. As a result, Mitchell made his big league debut, which included one start in which he allowed two runs in five innings against the Orioles in September. A righthander with a prototype power starter's body, Mitchell brings a fastball up to 97 mph, a power curveball in the high 70s to low 80s with 12-to-6 break and a developing changeup that has the potential to be average in the future. Because he's a Gil Patterson disciple, he's also added a cutter to his arsenal. Scouts both internally and externally grade the pitch, which checks in around the low 90s, as plus. Mitchell can rush his delivery at times and also gets side-to-side, which messes with his command. At worst, Mitchell could be an effective arm out of the bullpen, but the Yankees still believe he can start, and he'll likely continue to develop in that role at Triple-A Scranton Wilkes-Barre.
Mitchell may be the system's biggest tease, with tremendous stuff paired with mediocre results. His 5.12 ERA was one of the worst in the high Class A Florida State League among qualifiers, and he led the league with 23 wild pitches. He still earned a late-season promotion to Double-A Trenton, where he thrived in three starts before walking 11 in 10 playoff innings. Mitchell invites questions about his mental toughness and wrinkles that need to be ironed out in his delivery, namely finding a more consistent release point. Like Rafael De Paula, he has a tendency to respond to adversity by trying to throw his fastball--which sits between 91-94 mph and has touched 97 in the past--through the catcher's mitt. Unlike De Paula, however, Mitchell has good enough offspeed stuff that he shouldn't have to. His curveball can be a true wipeout pitch with power, as he'll touch 85 mph with it, and his overall package has drawn comparisons with A.J. Burnett's. His changeup is still in its developmental stages. Added to the 40-man roster following the 2013 season, he's far from ready to help in New York, and he's headed back to Trenton to open 2014.
The Yankees lured Mitchell away from a North Carolina scholarship with an $800,000 bonus in 2009. He had second thoughts about signing the deal, so New York had fellow righthander and UNC alumnus Adam Warren shepherd him through his first days in the organization. He didn't make his full-season debut until 2012, and his maturity remains a question. But no one questions his arm. He was wild but electric for Charleston and was the team's best pitching prospect after Jose Campos' elbow injury. One club official compares his stuff to that of former Yankee A.J. Burnett, and scouts give Mitchell future plus-plus grades for both his fastball and curveball. Both are swing-and-miss pitches, with the fastball ranging from 92-94 mph and the power curve reaching 81 mph. Mitchell's changeup is still in its early stages, and New York is more concerned with straightening out his mechanics and improving his control at this point anyway. He has a quick arm but doesn't finish his pitches consistently. He overthrows and tends to lose his release point. He's getting stronger physically and needs to get stronger mentally. He made every start last season and more than doubled his career innings total, earning a spot on the 40-man roster in November. He should graduate to high Class A in 2013.
The Yankees gave Mitchell (no relation to D.J.) an $800,000 bonus as a 16th-rounder in 2009 and still love his stuff. They're trying to be patient with his growing pains, which included a serious bout of homesickness after he signed and command issues in each of the last two seasons. Mitchell has a live arm with frontline stuff that he hasn't learned to control. He's not overly physical but has a quick arm and excellent athleticism, and he produces two pitches that have true plus potential. His curveball already is an above-average offering and ranks among the best in the system. It's a true power downer that sits at 80-82 mph. Mitchell's fastball sits at 93-94 mph at times and gets swings and misses when it's around the strike zone, thanks to its late sinking, tailing action. He has lost development time to his late signing in 2009 and to an abdominal strain in 2010, and he has walked 4.5 batters per nine innings in two years as a pro. He'll have to do much better than that as he jumps to full-season ball at Charleston in 2012.
Mitchell was set to follow in Adam Warren's footsteps and pitch at North Carolina before New York stepped in and signed him in August 2009 for $800,000. Ties between the Yankees and Tar Heels are fairly strong--the team played exhibition games there in the late 1970s, and the entrance to Boshamer Stadium is the Steinbrenner Family Courtyard. When Mitchell had some initial reservations about signing and a bout of homesickness, New York got some help from Warren, who showed him around the team's Tampa complex. Mitchell is raw and needs some maturity, but there's no question about his stuff. His fastball sat at 90-91 mph when he signed, but he has a quick arm and already has hit some 94s and 95s as a pro. His curveball, which features a modified spike grip, at times is a hammer with power and bite, and it potentially could rank among the system's best. Mitchell has to learn to harness his stuff and didn't excel at throwing strikes during his pro debut last summer. He got a late start at short-season Staten Island and may return there in 2011 if he can't earn a spot in Charleston's rotation.
Committed to North Carolina, Mitchell told teams before the 2009 draft that it would take "life-changing money" for him to turn down his home-state Tar Heels. Undaunted, the Yankees selected him in the 16th round and changed his plans by signing him for $800,000. Mitchell signed late and didn't pitch until instructional league, but he arrived with a more polished repertoire and better present stuff than most of the high school pitchers New York has signed of late. Mitchell throws a four-seam fastball that sits at 88-92 mph and touches 94. He's loose-armed and projectable with excellent hand speed, which helps him throw a snapdragon curve that's his best pitch. His curve was the best breaking ball the organization found in the 2009 draft and one of the best in the organization already. Mitchell's mechanics are fairly clean and repeatable, and he already throws a two-seam fastball, which the Yankees require for pitchers to advance past Class A. He also shows a feel for his nascent changeup. Mitchell could jump on the fast track, particularly if he performs well at Charleston in 2010.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Curveball in the New York Yankees in 2013