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Garrett Mitchell - 2023 Fantasy Baseball Draft Sleepers

Garrett Mitchell - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Draft Sleepers

Arguably no other MLB ballclub is as stacked with young outfield talent as the Brewers. With three outfielders currently ranked inside the top 100 prospects in all of baseball (according to MLB Pipeline), it's fair to say the future looks bright in Milwaukee.

What might come as a surprise is that Garrett Mitchell isn't one of the three. Mitchell is currently ranked as the Brewers' fourth-best prospect but he's arguably going to be the most impactful in fantasy this year and possibly even beyond that. But why is Mitchell being overlooked in drafts and set to be an undervalued player in fantasy?

You're about to find out. But before you do, make sure you're following RotoBaller on Twitter for all the latest MLB news and articles. And don't forget to check out the site for all your draft and in-season support. Without further ado, let's take a closer look at Garrett Mitchell, shall we?

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association including Baseball Writer of the Year, Football Writers of the Year, Golf Writer of the Year and many more! Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!


Minor League Pedigree

Mitchell was selected in the first round of the 2020 draft and it didn't take long for him to show off his wheels in his first professional season. Across High-A and Double-A in 2021, Mitchell played 64 games and tallied 17 stolen bases while also hitting eight homers. Last year, Mitchell began the year in Double-A and moved up to Triple-A before making his Major League debut in late August.

And the call-up was certainly merited after Mitchell hit .287/.377/.426 with five homers, 34 RBI, 49 runs, and 17 stolen bases in 68 Minor League games. Obviously, having only 132 Minor League games experience isn't much before facing Major League pitching. But the early signs are good for Mitchell after he hit .311/.373/.459 with two homers, nine RBI, nine runs, and eight steals in his 28 games with the Brewers.


He's Fast....... So Very, Very Fast

The one standout for Mitchell is that speed. He was 34-for-37 in stolen base attempts during his Minor League career and a perfect 8-for-8 in the Majors. Mitchell only had a decent success rate as a college player, going 28-for-37 stealing (121 games), so the fact he's found such a high success rate in his fledgling professional career should bode well for his chances of being green-lighted regularly with the Brewers.

And he showed elite speed on the bases in the Majors. And I mean elite speed. Mitchell recorded the fastest "home to first" speed across all of the MLB last year at 4.01 seconds (which you can see below) and his 30.2 ft/sec average sprint speed was the sixth-fastest. That will be critical for Mitchell to continue his success unless he can change his approach somewhat, as you're about to find out.


Launch Angle Is A Thing

As I just alluded to and what the video clip shows is that Mitchell needs his speed more than most any other player as he hits far too many ground balls. In the Minor Leagues last year, Mitchell had a 59.5% ground ball rate. For context, among all qualified hitters in the Majors last year, the highest ground ball rate was 58.6%. Interestingly, his teammate Christian Yelich is the player in question with that distinction.

The more promising news is that in the Majors, Mitchell's ground ball rate was 39.4%. And while it is a small sample we're looking at, his Minor League sample was still only 64 games, so hardly a large number of games to assess things on. The fact that Yelich had a 51.8% ground ball rate in his 2018 MVP season and has only had one season with a sub-50.0% ground ball rate in his MLB career gives us hope that Mitchell can still put up great numbers even if he doesn't cut down on the grass-cutters he hits.

Something that is more promising is that Mitchell also had an average exit velocity of 92.9 mph with the Brewers. That's the same as Shohei Ohtani, Matt Olsen, and Byron Buxton while his 11.8% Barrel% was the same as Mike Trout. Again, it's a very small sample but the signs are at least promising for Mitchell this year.



Mitchell's ADP of ~291 (65th among outfielders) in NFBC drafts means he's only being taken as a fifth outfielder at best. But his speed alone sets a nice floor and the projection systems have Mitchell hitting around 10 homers with close to 20 stolen bases despite none of them having him play more than 117 games.

Barring injury, there's no reason he shouldn't be able to play more games and 12 homers with 25 steals is easily justifiable even without considering the new bigger bases. With the decline in batting average across the league, if Mitchell can hit close to the .273 mark he had in the Minors, he'll be contributing there, and dare I say, 30+ stolen bases are within reach......

Speaking of rule changes, the shift ban should help Mitchell, too. We can see from the below graphic that Mitchell was shifted considerably in his short time with the Brewers.

He had a .320 wOBA against the shift and a .373 wOBA against the non-shift infield. Given that 10 of his 14 singles last year were infield hits and six of those were on the pull side, it's fair to assume that the shift ban will help Mitchell.

Even if Mitchell doesn't improve his launch angle and continues to hit the ball on the ground a lot, he's still shown there's fantasy value to be had in his legs. At his current ADP, Mitchell looks like he can be a steal in your drafts and with just a couple of minor adjustments, he has the potential to be a top-20 outfielder. It's not often a prospect is drafted close to what seems to be his floor, so make the most of that by taking him a couple of rounds early and enjoying the profit.

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