Blake Mitchell is accustomed to playing against quality talent on big stages. The two-way star played with USA Baseball’s 18U National Team the last two summers, including as an underclassman on the 2021 team that featured four of the top five picks in the 2022 MLB draft.
Playing alongside some of the best prep players over the last two years has aided Mitchell’s development. It also has allowed Mitchell to gain exposure and showcase his skills in front of professional scouts.
Mitchell, a catcher and right-handed pitcher from Sinton (Texas) High School, is one of the top two-way players in the prep class. He offers intriguing potential at both positions, with scouts primarily viewing him as a catcher. They consider him a potential first-round pick in July’s draft as a position player.
“I try to stay as humble as I can,” said Mitchell on the draft attention. “I’m just having a great time with my friends and living the normal high school life. I do everything I can to be a better baseball player.”
Mitchell is a 6-foot-1, 200-pound left-handed hitting catcher who can drive the ball to all fields. He consistently makes hard contact and displays notable raw power.
Defensively, Mitchell has the skill set to remain a catcher in the future. He is athletic and moves well behind the plate. He also displays quality receiving skills and elite arm strength, producing pop times of around 1.9 seconds.
Mitchell offers intriguing potential as a pitcher, which is a fallback option in the future. He said he wouldn’t pitch many innings as a high school senior this spring and will likely serve as the team’s closer.
The arm strength he’s gained pitching has helped him behind the plate. The right-hander deploys a mid-90s fastball that tops out at 97 mph, a quality curveball and a promising changeup.
“Defensively, my biggest strength is my arm strength,” Mitchell said. “Being on the mound helps with that. I take a lot of pride in my arm. My power to the backside and ability to use left field whenever I need to are my biggest offensive strengths.”
This offseason, the reigning Texas Gatorade Player of the Year is working on adding strength to his frame, improving his speed and refining his skills at the plate in preparation for his final prep season.
“I lack speed with just being a catcher,” Mitchell said. “It’s not like a do-or-die situation with the speed. But if there is one thing that I want to improve on, it is my speed.”
Besides his status as a draft prospect, Mitchell is a Louisiana State commit. He verbally committed to LSU right before the start of his sophomore year in August 2020. His commitment came under former coach Paul Mainieri, who retired after the 2021 season.
Mitchell remained loyal to LSU after the coaching change. LSU hired Jay Johnson, who led Arizona to the College World Series in 2021, to replace Mainieri. The Tigers reached the NCAA Tournament and finished with a 40-22 record in Johnson’s first season at the helm.
The Tigers are one of the top programs in college baseball. They rank seventh all-time with 18 College World Series appearances and second all-time with six national titles.
“I just had this gut feeling of where I belonged,” Mitchell said. “I knew LSU was where I wanted to be. It was an easy transition between the two coaching staffs. I love everything about the new staff. We are headed in the right direction for sure.”
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Dan Zielinski III has covered the MLB draft for eight years. He has interviewed 433 of the top draft prospects in that period, including four No. 1 overall picks. Multiple publications, including Baseball America, USA Today, MLB.com, The Arizona Republic and The Dallas Morning News, have quoted his work, while he has appeared on radio stations as a “MLB draft expert.” Follow him on Twitter @DanZielinski3.