Mitchell mashes madly for Marauders

Pirates No. 7 prospect turns in fourth career four-hit game

Cal Mitchell stitched together a line of .280/.344/.427 last year with Class A West Virginia. (Mark LoMoglio/Tampa Tarpons)

By Jordan Wolf / | May 7, 2019 10:32 PM

The Marauders sailed into Thresher-infested waters Tuesday night, but Calvin Mitchell navigated them through to safety.

Pittsburgh's seventh-ranked prospect went 4-for-5 with a triple, a double, and two RBIs in Class A Advanced Bradenton's 4-2 win over Clearwater at Spectrum Field. It marked the fourth career four-hit showing for Mitchell, who enjoyed coming through in the clutch more than matching his professional best.

"Definitely happy that I was able to come up in a few situations where the game was tied or we were down one run and be able to push one across," the 2017 second-round pick said. "I was happy to be able to come up big for the team."

Gameday box score

After tripling to right field off Threshers right-hander Colton Eastman in the first inning, Mitchell singled up the middle to plate Daniel Amaral in the third with the first run of the game. In the bottom of the frame, top Phillies prospect Alec Bohm quickly tied the game with a sacrifice fly, his first Florida State League RBI.

Mitchell stepped in against Ismael Cabrera with the game tied again, 2-2, in the sixth. With runners on second and third, the 20-year-old delivered another base hit to center that plated Chase Lambert to give the Marauders the lead.

According to the San Diego native, the key to coming through again was staying patient with the right-hander's pitch selection, something that was a major focus for him coming into his second full season as a professional.

"The guy was throwing pretty firm, good velocity," Mitchell said. "I was trying to kind of let the fastball travel a little deeper than usual just so I could protect against the offspeed stuff. Ended up putting one over the plate where I could handle, and I hit it into center."

He matched his career high for hits with a leadoff double to right in the ninth off righty Grant Dyer. After being stranded at third, he returned to dugout to a warm welcome from his teammates.

2019 MiLB include

"Our team has really good camaraderie, so whenever somebody has a good day or is doing their thing, we make sure they know it," Mitchell said.

It marked the 6-foot, 209-pounder's first four-hit performance since April 27, 2018, when he went 4-for-5 with two doubles for Class A West Virginia. He finished that year with a slash line of .280/.344/.427, 10 homers and 65 RBIs. In 29 games this season, he sports a line of .303/.328/.513 with five homers.

As Mitchell continues to build on his early success, the aforementioned focus on pitch selection and staying locked in defensively remain crucial to his development. And after a little over a month, he's pleased with his progress and the overall success it's led to on the field.

"I think it's going good for the most part," he said. "I feel good in the box, I feel like I'm making good plays in the outfield, helping my team every way that I can."

Jordan Wolf is a contributor to Follow him on Twitter @byjordanwolf. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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