Mitchell mashes four hits, extends streak

Pirates No. 16 prospect doubles twice, plates run, scores once

Since an 0-for-4 showing on April 13, Calvin Mitchell has raised his batting average 130 points. (Tracy Proffitt/Hickory Crawdads)

By Marisa Ingemi / | April 28, 2018 12:15 AM

On April 13, Calvin Mitchell went 0-for-4, dropping his batting average to .258. Since then, the Pirates' No. 16 prospect hasn't had a game without a hit.

Mitchell extended his hitting streak to 13 on Friday night, going 4-for-5 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and a run scored to lead Class A West Virginia to a 6-0 win over Lexington at Whitaker Bank Ballpark.

Gameday boxscore

The outfielder said he's aware of the streak, the longest in the South Atlantic League this season, but he's trying to stay focused on each at-bat.

"I'm trying to have a slow heartbeat in the box," he said. "I'm trying to really see the ball in, and it's working out."

Mitchell's second four-hit game of the season began with a single to center field in the first inning off a fastball. In the third, he ripped a single to right off a slider, with Bucs No. 10 prospect Lolo Sanchez coming home on a throwing error. Mitchell went on to score on a single by Mason Martin.

The 19-year-old drove in Sanchez with a double to center on an inside slider in the fourth, then roped a fastball into center in the sixth for another double.

Despite the streak, Mitchell hadn't gotten more than one hit per game since another four-hit night on April 21 against Asheville. Prior to that, he'd strung together three straight two-hit efforts.

"I think I'm feeling fairly confident at the plate," he said. "Right now, I'm still trying to just stay humble. I want to just keep giving it all I got every night."

The California native spent last season in the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League, putting up a .245/.351/.352 slash line with two homers and 43 games after the Pirates plucked him in the second round of the Draft. The jump to Class A is full of adjustments, but Mitchell has seen his approach translate into success.

Video: Mitchell collects his fourth hit for the Power

"So far, it's been working on seeing pitching," he said. "That's been an adjustment at times, but I've really worked on that. But it's been an on-the-fly thing."

Mitchell started his first full season with hits in seven straight games before a pair of hitless contests. During the streak, he's raised his average to a league-leading .381 and is reaching base at a .436 clip, which ranks fourth.

MiLB include

As the streak has unfolded, Mitchell cited a boost in confidence that allows him to stay sharp at the plate. He's walked eight time this season after drawing 24 free passes in 43 games a year ago. 

"I'm feeling pretty good with my bat right now," Mitchell said. "I just try to keep thinking about the same things in games, and it's going well so far. A lot of it has been about strike zone recognition. It's been about getting ahead in counts and swinging at my pitch."

Sanchez scored three runs, while 14th-ranked Oneil Cruz reached base twice with a single and a walk for the Power to lead the rest of their offense.

Braeden Ogle started for West Virginia and struck out five over two innings. Beau Sulser (1-0) went three innings for the win, fanning six and allowing two hits in three frames.

Marisa Ingemi is a contributor to Follow her on Twitter @Marisa_Ingemi. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More