The Feeder System: Saints Pitcher Evan Mitchell Has Contract Purchased by Indians Organization
ST. PAUL, MN - Each Major League team has their own farm system where players hone their skills in hopes of making it to The Show. The 2018 St. Paul Saints team is becoming an extension of several different Major League farm systems as players are having their contract purchased at a dizzying pace. Pitcher Evan Mitchell became the most recent player to join a Major League organization as the Cleveland Indians purchased his contract. Mitchell becomes the sixth player from the 2018 team to earn that honor and the 124th different player in franchise history to have his contract purchased. The last time the a Saints team had at least six players with their contract purchased was the 2015 team who won a franchise record 74 games.
The 26-year-old Mitchell joined the Saints as a free agent in August and helped the Saints down the stretch. He was 2-0 with a 2.57 ERA in nine relief appearances. In 14.0 innings pitched he walked three and struck out 13 while opponents hit just .222 against him. His most impressive outing came on August 21 at Sioux Falls when he tossed 3.0 shutout innings while fanning three.
Mitchell spent his entire six-year professional career in the Cincinnati Reds organization and spent most of 2018 at Triple-A Louisville. He was 1-1 with a 4.28 ERA in 29 games. In 33.2 innings pitched he walked 20 and struck out 26 while opponents hit .277 against him. Mitchell had five appearances of 2.0 innings or more and didn't allow a run in four of them. He began the season at High-A Pensacola and pitched in two games before being called up. He was 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in those two games.
Mitchell was a 13th round selection by the Reds in the First Year Amateur Draft in 2013 out of Mississippi State. After pitching in just three games in the Rookie Arizona League in 2013, and allowing one run in 3.0 innings, he pitched a full season in 2014 at Single-A Dayton. He went 2-3 with a 4.22 ERA in 26 games. In 32.0 innings pitched he walked 13 and struck out 29 while opponents hit .252 against him. Mitchell began the season by not allowing an earned run in his first six appearances (7.0 IP) and did not allow a run in six straight appearances from August 17-30, a span of 8.1 innings. He struck out five in a 2.0 inning appearance on August 14 vs. Lake County.
In 2015 Mitchell spent the entire season at High-A Daytona in the Florida State League. He was 3-2 with a 3.84 ERA and eight saves in 46 relief appearances. In 58.2 innings he walked 33 and struck out 42 while opponents hit .272 against him. Mitchell was selected as a Mid-Season All-Star and finished tied for third in the Florida State League in appearances. He earned a win or save in his first seven decisions and recorded a win and three saves in his first four appearances. Mitchell went 13 consecutive appearances without allowing a run from June 4-July 16, a span of 17.0 innings. He also went another 8.0 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run from July 22-August 11.
Mitchell began 2016 in Daytona and went 1-1 with a 3.38 ERA and one save in 12 games (one start). In 16.0 innings he walked six and struck out 18 while opponents hit .220 against him. He allowed a run in just one of his 11 relief appearances and went 2.0 or more innings of shutout relief four times. Mitchell was promoted to Double-A Pensacola on May 22 and was dominant going 4-1 with a 2.70 ERA in 33 relief appearances. In 46.2 innings pitched he walked 15 and struck out 32 while opponents hit .226 against him. He didn't allow a run over his final seven relief appearances, 12.2 innings, which included 3.0 perfect innings while striking out six in his last relief appearance of the season on September 3 at Birmingham.
In 2017 Mitchell began the season at Triple-A Louisville and was 2-4 with a 4.85 ERA and one save in 25 relief appearances. In 39.0 innings pitched he walked 12 and struck out 28 while opponents hit .347 against him. He allowed one unearned run in his first seven relief appearances, 13.0 innings pitched and had a 3.31 ERA before he landed on the disabled list on June 16. Mitched made rehab appearances in the Arizona League from August 2-13 and went 0-0 with a 1.59 ERA before rejoining Louisville on August 15. He pitched in three games allowing nine runs in 5.1 innings before landing back on the disabled list for the remainder of the season.
Mitchell has only given up eight home runs in 253.2 innings pitched, has given up a multi-homer game just once and has never given up a home run in back-to-back relief appearances. His ground ball/fly out ratio is nearly 2.0 in his career.
Mitchell becomes the 134th contract purchased from the Saints, and 124th different player, including eight who had their contract sold twice and Caleb Thielbar who became the first player to have his contract purchased three times. Of the 134 contracts sold, eight were sold to international teams and a total of 19 have made it to the ultimate level of baseball following their time with the Saints (Julio DePaula, who played for the Saints in 2011, made it to the Major Leagues in 2014, never pitched in a game, but does not show up on the list below because his contract wasn't purchased directly from the Saints). Mitchell becomes the sixth player from the 2018 team to have his contract purchased joining Josh Allen, who had his contract purchased by the New York Mets in June, catcher Justin O'Conner who had his contract purchased by the Chicago White Sox on January 22, pitcher Chris Nunn who had his contract purchased by the Texas Rangers on January 28, pitcher Matt Solter, who had his contract purchased by the Cleveland Indians on February 12, and pitcher Zack Jones, who had his contract purchased by the New York Mets on February 20.
Additionally, Saints pitcher Beck Wheeler, who set the American Association for strikeouts by a reliever last season, has taken a position with the San Diego Padres.
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American Association Stories from February 21, 2019
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- The Feeder System: Saints Pitcher Evan Mitchell Has Contract Purchased by Indians Organization - St. Paul Saints
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