Prospect Chat: Jared Mitchell

White Sox outfielder Jared Mitchell answered readers' questions

Moderator: White Sox outfielder Jared Mitchell will answer questions beginning at 6:30 p.m. ET.

    Nick (Chicago): As a two sport athlete, how beneficial do you feel concentrating solely on your baseball career will be? Also, what are the differences between the football and baseball mentality?

Jared Mitchell: I always knew that if I ever had the chance to concentrate on either sport, I'd be so much better at it and would grow tremendously as a player. I saw a major jump just my last year in college and then another jump my first summer in pro ball. I think both sports are intensed in their own way, but I think baseball is just more of a controlled environment. But, to be at your best in both, you still have to be completely locked in on the task at hand.

    Vision Baseball (Olive Branch, MS): What advise would you give to 11 year old baseball players who have dreams of going to college/pro's?

Jared Mitchell: Most importantly, take care of your school work. Without the grades, you're likely to go nowhere. But on the baseball side of it, work hard to get better everyday. Do not cheat yourself. Listen and learn from everyone around you.

    Vision Baseball (Olive Branch, MS): What is your approach at the plate when you get into the batters box?

Jared Mitchell: Different situations call for different approaches as a hitter. Most importantly, you get into the box looking for something you can hit, and hit hard.

    Treyvon Bridgesi (Southaven, MS): Please explain "Keeping your hands inside the baseball" and do you believe in swinging down on the baseball?

Jared Mitchell: When hitting, imagine trying to keep your hands as close to your body as possible. That'll always keep your hands inside. I'm a firm believer in swinging down on the ball. That pathis what creates backspin, which in turn makes the ball travel further.

    Dr Bill (Dresden, Maine): Hi Jared, In MLB, your team will be expecting you to rack up SBs. In terms of stealing technique, what is the best tip you have gotten from a coach?

Jared Mitchell: Don't turn base stealing into a robotic motion. Keep your athleticism. Stay loose and relaxed and allow your ability to take over.

    Mark (Fargo, ND): Where has the White Sox told you will play this year? Where do you want to play this year? Do you feel your ready for the big leagues? If you don't feel you are what do you need to work on in your opinion?

Jared Mitchell: They haven't really told me anything and I'm completely fine with that. I could care less where I start at. It's all a process, no matter where you are. The work still has to be put in so I'm looking forward to it. I need to work on everything, I want to get better at everything I do to be the biggest asset to my team. Like I said it's all a process, and I'm going to put in the work and enjoy that process along the way.

    Mark D. (Phoenix, AZ): Hi Jared, You're projected to be the slick fielding 5-tool CF and lead-off hitter of the future in the Southside - how excited are you to pick the brains of Juan Pierre Andruw Jones this spring? Obviously Juan has built a career around being a quality lead-off guy; and nobody manned center more gracefully over the past decade than Andruw. What are you hoping to learn from them? Thanks for your time - and can't wait to see ya in the bigs soon! Mark

Jared Mitchell: Honestly, I was praying for an opportunity at big league camp just for that reason. I really excited to learn from guys who have excelled at what they do for an extended period of time. I couldn't ask for a better situation to be put in and I plan on being like a sponge and soaking it all in.

    Daryl (New York): First off, congratulations on being drafted in the 1st round by the Chicago White Sox. My Question is which current of former MLB player to you think you compare to the most. Also, who if anyone have you looked up to as your idol and tried to emulate?

Jared Mitchell: I've been compared a lot to Carl Crawford and I think that is fairly accurate. I like his style and the way he plays the game. He's fun to watch. I grew up watching Griffey, Andruw Jones, and Torii Hunter. Love the way those guys play the game.

    Zane (Columbus): As a kid growing up what sport did you dream of making pros in, baseball or football?

Jared Mitchell: Ha, I was just a kid who loved playing everything. I always told my dad as a young kid that I'd make it on tv playing ball. I'm just a sports fanatic, and very blessed to have the opportunity to still be playing one. Never really knew which one it'd be nor did I care, but I'm glad I am where I am now.

    JAYPERS (IL): Hi, Jared. If the decision were yours to make, would you like to climb through the minors as fast as Gordon Beckham and Dan Hudson did in previous years, or would you prefer to play at one or two levels of the lower minors throughout 2010?

Jared Mitchell: The goal is to make it to the majors as fast as you can, but you also have to understand as a player that it is no rush. I think everyone would love to push through the ranks like those guys were able to, but it doesn't always happen that way. Whichever way it may be for me, I look forward to the process and the work I'll be putting in.

    John (Chicago, IL): Jared, You were drafted out of high school and decided not to sign with the Twins. What were the factors in your decision and how if any did an advisor, family, organization, or school committment factor into your decision. Looking forward to seeing you on the South Side soon.

Jared Mitchell: Ultimately, I ginuinely believe that if its meant to be, it'll be. I felt I couldn't pass up an unbelievable chance at LSU to grow as a human being in all areas. So that was my deciding factor that pushed me towards school first. I received the most help from my family in making that decision.

    Alan (Chicago): Scouting reports have noted that you needed to make some significant adjustments to your swing mechanics. Have those taken place, and what particularly have you changed? If so, how have these adjustments translated to your batting production?

Jared Mitchell: The whole downhill swinging path is the biggest thing for me. I did some things in my stance to really simplify the things I'm trying to do, but for me its more about a better path to the ball.

    Alan (Chicago): Have you spent much time in the great city of Chicago yet? If so, deep-dish or thin crust? This is of dire importance.

Jared Mitchell: Ha yeah, all of 2 days! I don't plan on going back until its my time either. Seems like a great city, so thats my goal. I'm a deep-dish type of guy.

    larry lawyer (Chicago): What are some aspects of your game that you feel you need to work on the most this upcoming season? Stealing bags? Hitting lefties? Being more aggressive in hitters counts?

Jared Mitchell: All of the above and more need to be worked on. I have a lot more in me to be tapped into and I'm looking forward to working towards that.

    Justin (Louisiana): Congrats on your sucess at the college level and your draft spot. As an outfielder, has the adjustment to reads off a wood bat suprised you at all? Also, do you plan on hanging out with Theriot or Fontenot, even though they play for the North Siders, being that you all went to LSU?

Jared Mitchell: Thanks. Um, the adjustment from the different types of bats is not as tough as it may seem. You get used to it real quick. They're both really good guys so who knows what'll happen, but yeah we definitely have that LSU connection.

    Jim Pigg (Louisiana): Congratulations to a GREAT Fightin' Tiger on being selected as one of your top prospects. My question for Jared is how much difficulty did he have switching from aluminum to wooden bats? Specifically what adjustments did he make, particularly on inside pitches.

Jared Mitchell: I'm actually a bigger fan of using wood as opposed to metal. So, I was actually really happy to be able to use wood on a daily basis finally. I think the biggest diffence is that wood is more of a "true" feeling. The biggest adjustment, and not just on inside pitches, is letting the ball get as deep as possible and taking the shortest swing you can at the ball.

    Jim Hora (Chicago): Tell me a little about yourself. Where you grew up? When did you start? You will love this city. If you play hard and stay in contact with the fans (ie Beckham) you will have a wonderful career.

Jared Mitchell: I'm 21 years old from a little town called New Iberia, LA. Don't let it fool you though, lots of good people there. I started playing ball at tee ball. I play hard and may look serious, but I'm really a clown. Just like to have fun.

    Mike I (Chicago): Who do you think your game best resembles in the big leagues? What was your initial reaction when drafted by the White Sox?

Jared Mitchell: It's hard for me to compare myself because I honestly think I'll get a whole lot better. But, I was excited about being drafted by the Sox. They always seemed like a classy organization and they have a good group of core guys. Looking forward to making it there.

    Jack (Chicago): Hi Jared, What do you see as the toughest thing that you've had to change or develop in your climb up the minor league system? Thanks and best of luck to you!

Jared Mitchell: It's all challenging, and that's why so few make it. You just have to stay focused and continue to keep pushing.

    Joe (Michigan): Jared After enjoying a very successful career at LSU, hitting 11 homeruns in 66 starts, was it disappointing for you not to hit a homerun in your first 115 ab's with Kannapolis? Have you changed your hitting approach?

Jared Mitchell: Haha nahh, not at all. They'll come, trust me.

    Mark (NY): Hi Jared, outside of baseball itself [and football], what do you think were the key factors that helped you develop as an athlete? Thanks, and I'm looking forward to seeing you in the big leagues.

Jared Mitchell: Understanding the business side of sports helped me the most I think. As a player, you have to learn to worry about playing and nothing else. Everything else will take care of itself.

    Nick (Massachusetts): Hey Jared, thanks for doing this chat. I was wondering what your opinion is on signing autographs. As a long time collecter I was just wondering how you felt about signing. Thanks

Jared Mitchell: I don't mind signing autographs as long as I'm not taken advantage of and you honestly have an interest in keeping the autograph.

    Chad (Colorado): What do you think of the fact that the White Sox have gone from essentially zero center-fielders at the start of your time with the organization to three, possibly four players on the active roster who could start in center field as of now?

Jared Mitchell: Competition, and I love it. Nothing is given to anyone, and when I make it there, I want to know that I deserved it. Not that it was given to me by default.

    john horner (Chicago): Jared, saw you in last year's College World Series. We southsiders are pulling for you. Absorb all you can learn. Always have fun. Can't wait until Ozzie puts you in the lineup here in Chicago. Remember, what will get you here. Here work, enjoying the game, and utilizing your speed and quickness.

Jared Mitchell: Thanks, I appreciate the support. Looking forward to making it there.

    Jon Stiner (Michigan): Do u know DJ Lemahieu?

Jared Mitchell: Yes, he's a good guy and ballplayer.

    Mac (Boston): When do you think you will take over the center field job in Chicago

Jared Mitchell: Whenever they call for me. Until then I'll do the things I need to do to prepare myself.

    Matt (Whippleville, NY): Hi Jared. What do you think your greatest strength as a player is right now?

Jared Mitchell: The tremendous amount of room for improvement.

    Jon Stiner (Michigan): Is the first thing that colleges look at are your grades?

Jared Mitchell: Yes, can't get in college without decent grades.

    Rob Young (Kirkland, IL): How was your draft day? What was your initial reaction to be selected by the Chicago White Sox?

Jared Mitchell: It was great, a moment I will always remember. I was very excited.

    Eliu (Chicago): What are some of your goals this season?

Jared Mitchell: My only goal everyday is to get better each day. Then, at the end of each day or year or whatever, I can look back and judge myself.

    Dan Christenson (Aurora, IL): What's your best 40-yard dash time?

Jared Mitchell: Haven't ran one since I was a senior in high school...

    Mike (Illinois State University): What differences have you noticed between playing college ball in the College World Series and playing professionally in the minor leagues?

Jared Mitchell: There's a reason why so few make it to pro ball period. EVERYONE has talent here and the margin of diffence between an A ball player and big league player nowhere near as big as it may seem.

    Les Miles (Louisiana): Have you met Ozzie Guillen, and if so, how different are we?

Jared Mitchell: No chance this is Les Miles. If so, yall are completely different.

    Herman (Louisiana): What do you think of LSU's chances of making to Omaha this year. I am so happy you have achieved the dream.

Jared Mitchell: They've got a good ballclub, should be another interesting year at the box.

    Joe (Michigan): Thank you for answering my first question (no homeruns in 115abs). Can you pin point as to why you did not he any out?

Jared Mitchell: Honestly, I'm not too worried about why I didn't. I'll hit my share in due time.