Wrapping up Jared Mitchell's spring


Wrapping up Jared Mitchell's spring

Following a 2011 season that saw Jared Mitchell's on-base percentage plummet to just north of .300, the former first-round pick's prospect status was tenuous. A good showing in spring training wasn't imperative, but it was important. And Mitchell certainly got 2012 off on the right foot, picking up seven hits in 21 Cactus League at-bats while displaying a trust in his ankle that hadn't been seen in two years.

However, Mitchell did strike out seven times and didn't draw a walk this spring. Normally, that'd be concerning. And maybe it still is, especially the strikeouts. But the lack of walks does have an explanation.

"Quite frankly, we needed to see him being more aggressive," White Sox director of player development Buddy Bell said Friday. "I think he's probably taking that to a different level than what we wanted, but we really wanted him to be more aggressive early in the count. He got himself in a lot of 0-2 and 1-2 situations last year and basically he was just being a little too sensitive about the strikezone."

The strategy, for now, worked. Mitchell appeared to clear his head of any in-between thoughts, going up with an aggressive mindset and swinging his way to some good results. But it's not a strategy that'll lead to sustainable success -- which Bell somewhat hinted at in that quote above.

Mitchell will have to reel in that aggressiveness, but maybe not to the point of the near-10 percent walk rate he had last year. Strikeouts still may be an issue, but that's not unexpected given Mitchell's relative lack of experience.

The 23-year-old will likely begin the season with either Single-A Winston-Salem or Double-A Birmingham -- Bell said the Sox are still deciding on the destination. Perhaps he could use a repeat with Winston-Salem, but if Bell's as confident in Mitchell as he says, perhaps an aggressive minor league placement will be the case.

For the full transcript of Bell's conference call, head on over to South Side Sox.

Fast Break Morning Update: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Fast Break Morning Update: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Former White Sox OF Tim Raines elected to National Baseball Hall of Fame

Between Cubs' victory lap and Hall of Fame vote, Sammy Sosa barely staying in the picture

Bulls' continued inconsistencies 'an issue of focus'

Report: Bears set to hire Curtis Modkins as running backs coach

Wrigley Field named one of the happiest places in the world by CNN

Tim Raines shares thank you message after being elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Bulls Talk Podcast: What went wrong for the Bulls against the Mavericks?

Hawks Talk Podcast: Blackhawks' bottom six steps up in Colorado

Big Ten Talk Podcast: Picking contenders and pretenders in the Big Ten title race

Jerry Reinsdorf, Frank Thomas congratulate Tim Raines on Baseball Hall of Fame election

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame


SportsTalk Live Podcast: Tim Raines elected to Baseball Hall of Fame

Hub Arkush (670 The Score/Pro Football Weekly), David Schuster (670 The Score) and Patrick Finley join Kap on the panel.  Tim Raines finally gets the call from the Hall along with Jeff Bagwell and Pudge Rodriguez.  So when will Bonds and Clemens get in?  Why are Sammy Sosa’s vote totals dropping? The guys debate from former Cub David DeJesus joins the panel to talk Hall of Fame and the 2017 Cubs.

The Bulls lose to a bad Mavericks team. When will GarPax blow it up and start over?

Plus the guys discuss whether or not Antonio Brown will distract the Steelers and if the Falcons defense is the x-factor in the NFC title game.