2023 MLB Draft Profile: Blake Mitchell (C)

Blake Mitchell/Perfect Game USA

NAME: Blake Mitchell
SCHOOL: Sinton (HS)
HEIGHT/WEIGHT: 6-1/200 pounds
B/T: L/R

Scouting Report

Mitchell is one of the fascinating prep players in a draft headlined by a loaded class of college hitters. Despite a league-wide fear of prep catchers due to a troublesome lack of success rate in the past, he’s the highest-ranked high school catcher and likely the only other first-round catcher aside from projected top-10 pick Kyle Teel.

Not only is Mitchell by far the highest-regarded prep catcher but he could also easily get drafted in the first few rounds as a pitcher. He regularly reached 97mph on the mound and features the best arm behind the plate in the draft thanks to that pitching experience.

He’s been the state player of the year in Texas in both his Junior and Senior years, establishing himself as one of the best high school players in the country. While the risk is clear with all prep catchers, he has a strong floor in every aspect of his game with the ability to potentially move back to pitching if he isn’t able to stick behind the plate.

Mitchell has a blend of bat-to-ball with power upside in his left-handed swing. He’s got quick hands that result in elite bat speed for a prep hitter which should allow him to grow into a fair share of pull-side power as he develops. Last summer, he recorded exit velocities in the high 90s, reaching 102mph, with clear raw power to go along with an approach at the plate that should only benefit him further.

He strikes out more than ideal and finding ways to reduce that will be crucial for his development, but his ability to hit the ball to all fields with ease bodes well for his outlook.

Behind the plate, Mitchell is athletic and featured a pop time of 1.86 seconds last summer that has improved since then. He’s got an elite arm and quick reaction skills that should give him the ability to manage the position defensively in the future. With his top-notch arm strength, he could be a fit in a corner outfield spot as well if he isn’t able to remain behind the dish long-term.

While his versatility and unique ability as a pitcher and catcher make him an intriguing prospect, Mitchell’s selling point is his pop from the left side of the plate. Naturally powerful prep left-handed bats are always appealing in the first round, and the fear of drafting high catches this early is negated to some degree by his ability to pitch and a profile that could succeed at other positions thanks to his arm strength and athleticism.

Highlights courtesy of Perfect Game

Why Would the White Sox Draft Him?

The lack of depth and potential at the catching position within the White Sox organization is no secret right now. With Yasmani Grandal set to depart soon, the White Sox will need to find some long-term answers behind the plate. While Mitchell would take many years to make his way to Chicago, he would at least give the organization a high-level prospect at the position.

Aside from one great season from Grandal, the team has lacked a stable catcher that can hit at an adequate level for many years and Mitchell could eventually fill that role with a few years to hone in on his raw power.

Furthermore, the White Sox have consistently had trouble with the development of outfielders in the system and that’s the backup positionally for Mitchell if he doesn’t stick behind the plate.

Mitchell seems like he’s going around the range of the White Sox pick and could possibly even be a slight under-slot option at the 15th pick given the hesitancy toward prep catchers in recent years. He would allow the team financial flexibility in later rounds and would be a top-ranked prospect immediately despite his young age.

Mitchell will definitely take some time in the minor leagues and shouldn’t be expected to make an impact in Chicago soon, but if he’s able to continue to grow as a hitter and remains behind the plate, he could be the White Sox starting catcher by 2027.

Mock Draft Outcomes

Mitchell has seen his stock rise recently in many mock drafts as he’s continued to dominate in his senior season. The most recent MLB.com mock draft courtesy of Jim Callis projected Mitchell to the Red Sox at the 14th overall pick. Meanwhile, Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com projected that the backstop would land in Seattle with the 22nd overall pick. Joe Doyle of The Future Stars Series projected Mitchell to the St. Louis Cardinals at #21 overall.

Carlos Collazo of Baseball America mocked Mitchell to the Philadelphia Phillies at #27 overall despite noting that he has lots of buzz in the 10-20 range. Keith Law of The Athletic projected the prep catcher to the San Diego Padres with the 25th overall pick in his only mock draft so far. Kiley McDaniel of ESPN sent Mitchell to the Toronto Blue Jays at #20 overall but noted that the White Sox had been scouting him heavily; considering him with the 15th overall selection.

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