Mitch Jebb was one of the top players in the prestigious Cape Cod League last summer. The summer didn’t start how the Michigan State shortstop anticipated, but it turned into a valuable two-month experience.
He initially joined Cotuit in the Cape Cod League after a highly productive sophomore season at Michigan State last year. Cotuit dropped Jebb, though, as it had Ryan Ritter, a fourth-round pick in the 2022 MLB draft, as its starting shortstop.
Jebb remained in the Cape Cod League, joining Hyannis. Moving to a new team benefited Jebb. He hit .356 with eight doubles, three triples, two home runs, 22 RBIs and 26 stolen bases in 149 at-bats in the wood-bat summer league.
Jebb is on the radar of professional scouts due to his performance and development over the last two years. He is a prospect for July’s MLB draft, with the potential to go in the first round. Michigan State’s last first-round pick was left-handed pitcher Mark Mulder, who went second overall in 1998.
“You get those exciting thoughts, and it’s something you have dreamed of since you were a kid,” Jebb said. “But at the end of the day, it’s not helping you in the situation you are in. It’s pretty easy for me to accept those thoughts, wipe them out and focus on what’s in front of me.”
Jebb is a 6-foot-1, 185-pound shortstop who projects as a top-of-the-order hitter in the pro ranks. The left-handed hitter has a unique stance but uses a quick, compact swing to drive the ball into the gaps. He hits the ball hard but is more of a line-drive hitter than a power hitter. He has notable strike-zone awareness and consistently gets on base.
Besides his skill set in the batter’s box, Jebb also makes an impact on the base pads due to his speed.
“One of my best skills is my consistency,” Jebb said. “I feel like I’m not the best guy in this draft class, but I’m able to stay in the present and in the moment every time. That really makes me consistent. Being consistent is better than riding the wave.”
Jebb was Michigan State’s starting shortstop in his first two years. In the Cape Cod League, Jebb bounced around, playing second base, shortstop and third base. He has respectable range and arm strength.
Jebb believes he can remain at shortstop in the pro ranks. Scouts envision him as an up-the-middle player due to his above-average speed. They also think he can handle center field, even though he has never played in the outfield.
“I think I can play shortstop at the next level,” Jebb said. “No matter what position I play at the next level, I’m going to be a franchise guy. Everything I have had to do, I have had to work for. I’m not saying I’m not talented, but it’s not like I can just go out there and do it. I have to work for it.”
Jebb has been an impact player for Michigan State. He hit .276 with 10 doubles, two triples and 15 RBIs in 163 at-bats as a freshman in 2021. Last year, he made significant strides, posting a .356 average with 10 doubles, three triples, six home runs, 46 RBIs and 20 stolen bases in 219 at-bats.
This season, Jebb hopes to build on his first two years while helping Michigan State to its first winning season since 2017, excluding the shortened 2020 season. The Spartans haven’t qualified for the Big Ten Tournament since 2018 and the NCAA Tournament since 2012.
“We need to just win one game at a time,” Jebb said. “To accomplish the big goals, you have to accomplish the small goals first. The small goal is to make the Big Ten Tournament at the end of the year.”
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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.