If you've been reading me for a while, you might be familiar with my affection for Jared Mitchell (profile). The former first-round pick had a scorching debut in full season ball, showing an excellent approach at the plate despite splitting his dual-sport past. Mitchell continued to put on a show during Spring Training in 2010 only to tear a tendon in his left ankle, causing him to miss the whole season. 2011 and 2012 were not as kind to Mitchell as his debut season was, and he showed both rust and rawness as he's progressed up the organizational ladder. All of this leads to some recent news on MLB.com discussing the White Sox future plans for Mitchell. Here's the money quote:
"The best news I have about Mitchell, and Robin can attest to this, too, is that after [assistant general manager] Buddy Bell returned from Instructional League this year, he wouldn't shut up about where Jared is and, 'We can't possibly consider moving this guy, because he's ready to bust loose,'" said Hahn during Saturday's SoxFest Town Hall meeting. "Guys who have been working with him since he arrived here on campus are starting to get that excitement in their voice.
"He has a ton of tools, and it was always a matter at first of how quickly that development would happen. Then it turned out to be how badly that injury would impact him. The injury now seems to be behind him and the swing is getting to the point where our guys are getting excited and hopefully this will be a big year for him."
Mitchell is a guy who has fallen off most of our radar's - and deservedly so - but he's worth monitoring as a guy who could see some time if something goes wrong in the White Sox outfield. He offers a nice blend of power, speed, and patience (for those in OBP leagues), though his batting average will be a detriment. Spring (and pre-Spring) is always a time for optimism, so this may all be for naught, but Mitchell has always had the tools to compete. While he lacks refinement, his speed should give him value and he has enough pop that he won't hurt you there either.
Here's some video of Mitchell from the 2013 MLB Rookie Career Development Program discussing his injury (shows some game footage):