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Garrett Mitchell’s Swing

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Offline  Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#1

Posted: March 10, 2021, 1:00 PM Post
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I’ll preface this conversation by stating that so far in a small sample Mitchell has looked very good. I loved the pick back in June, and so far he's looked even better than I could've imagined.

The reason I bring up this topic is because a lot has been made of him likely needing to make swing changes. While everyone seems to agree he’ll be a fantastic defender, the reviews on his current in-game offensive approach and swing are more divisive. Since he was drafted last summer a lot of national evaluators have indicated that Mitchell is going to need swing adjustments to be an impact hitter in professional baseball.

The typical narratives within Mitchell’s offensive scouting reports go something like this:

- 80 runner
- Shows plus to plus-plus raw power in batting practice
- Choppiness in his swing which is geared towards hitting low line drives and grounders in games
- Uses speed to take extra base hits by stretching out singles
- "Slap-and-dash" approach has worked for him in college, but he has the build and power potential to be a middle-of-the-order hitter
- Sometimes relies on his upper body too much, which suppresses his in-game power potential

From the little bit of footage we’ve seen of Mitchell so far his swing is still that low line drive approach that evaluators have mentioned. He has had some fantastic exit velocities thus far (topping out at 109.7-mph), and he hits the ball so hard that even the grounders have a good chance of making their way through the infield if they aren’t hit directly at a defender.

It’s admittedly way too premature to make any definitive conclusions based on the minuscule sample we’ve seen so far. That being said this is a board that’s open to thought experiments, so here we go.

The question: From what we’ve seen so far would you want Mitchell to attempt a swing change in order to access more power, or do you think his current approach and skill-set give him a chance to be plenty valuable enough?

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My take is that a significant swing change of any sort could be very risky. It could obviously have a huge payoff, but it could also be a potential setback to his development. With his current approach and speed I think he could be a fantastic lead-off hitter that gets on base and causes havoc from there. I could see an argument to be made that his decline phase could come sooner in his career since his current approach relies heavily on speed, but my counter would be that a swing change could delay his path to the majors which would also shrink his peak window. I’m torn because I do understand for those who have seen his incredible BP raw power how they could envision a 30+ home run hitter (not to mention the fact he's built like an NFL strong safety). I’m just not certain if the risk associated with a swing change is worth it for someone so gifted that he's already successful with his current approach and swing.

Would be interested in hearing others thoughts? (even with the caveat that we need to see a whole lot more of his success and failure with his current swing)


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 10, 2021, 3:23 PM Post
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Very important preface: I've only seen him swing the bat once. That one swing resulted in a weak grounder to first or second. I was surprised because he looks like a big dude but his swing looked like it came from a speedy slap hitter. That sort of goes with the scouting report above. I can't imagine that is going to work in the majors. Defenses are too good and you're speed only lasts so long and can get you so far. I have no idea what changes need to be made but I would think that there will be changes made. The days of players making a career out of beating out grounders are long gone.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 10, 2021, 3:48 PM Post
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https://theathletic.com/2433923/2021/03 ... ed_article

Here’s an article from the Athletic on this very topic. It discusses Mitchell working with Sara Goodrum to make the transition from a line drive slap and dash swing to one with more power potential.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#4

Posted: March 10, 2021, 4:31 PM Post
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Not in favor of the big, drastic swing changes when something is mostly working already. I'm not anyone who knows anything about swing mechanics, but it seems to me that if the lower body isn't involved much, working on getting some more power from the legs seems a good way to go. Could add power without really messing with the swing itself. If it does, then you're golden. If it doesn't , then you can consider more changes. Just do a little at a time, to not risk wholesale changes that could mess things up.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 10, 2021, 4:38 PM Post
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I think at this stage you just hope like hell Mitchell actually gets a full minor league season to hit the ground running (not to mention all other minor leaguers) and get accustomed to pro ball.

I seem to recall a knock on Yelich when he came to the Brewers that his swing could be tweaked a bit to turn alot of high exit velocity grounders into more damaging extra base hits/HRs - and that's after he spent close to 5 seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins....too soon in Mitchell's career to dabble in a huge swing change, but the potential upside is too enticing not to attempt some gradual tweaks to better tap into his power. I think you start with the offensive speed/contact foundation that made him a 1st round pick and make minor adjustments during the course of a full minor league season, then put in the significant work in offseason training to develop that power.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#6

Posted: March 10, 2021, 4:51 PM Post
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Location: New Berlin, WI
The Brewers I believe attempted to transforms Tyrone Taylor's swing when he reached high A. It took years for him to start seeing the results in games. From 2014-2016 and a chunk of 2017 he was pretty bad...it seems he finally got comfortable with the changes toward the end of 2017 and then 2018. It's fair to look at Tyrone Taylor as he is an incredible athlete just like Mitchell...and it took him a long time. Major swing changes definitely don't come easy to everyone and take time to implement. I will say I think it would be better for them to full commit to swing changes now versus waiting a couple years and then doing it.

This seems like the type of thing that makes sense to try to implement during an offseason with driveline or someone similar. I wouldn't mess around with it now during the minor league season.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 10, 2021, 9:11 PM Post
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KeithStone53151 said:
The Brewers I believe attempted to transforms Tyrone Taylor's swing when he reached high A. It took years for him to start seeing the results in games. From 2014-2016 and a chunk of 2017 he was pretty bad...it seems he finally got comfortable with the changes toward the end of 2017 and then 2018. It's fair to look at Tyrone Taylor as he is an incredible athlete just like Mitchell...and it took him a long time. Major swing changes definitely don't come easy to everyone and take time to implement. I will say I think it would be better for them to full commit to swing changes now versus waiting a couple years and then doing it.

This seems like the type of thing that makes sense to try to implement during an offseason with driveline or someone similar. I wouldn't mess around with it now during the minor league season.


Isn't that just wasting a whole year of his development though if they do that?

It seems like the knock on him is that he's a slap hitter but one that hits the ball really hard. You can get away with that in college with the metal bats and inferior defenses. In the pros with a wood bat a lot of his contact is going to result in weak ground balls instead of high choppers he can beat out or linedrives through the infield. Just looked over his college stats and he put up some high OPS's but those were supported by high batting average and on base. His ISO wasn't speculator except for the year that he had an absurd number of triples. His one season in the wood bat Northwoods League (small sample alert) supports my theory. His batting average dropped a bit and his slugging cratered. I guess it's going to be his first year playing pro ball so just get him on the field but if he needs to make swing changes might as well do it now and not waste anyone's time.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#8

Posted: March 10, 2021, 10:12 PM Post
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Maybe I've just missed an explanation, but if he has shown plus raw power in batting practice does that mean that he has a different swing that he uses in those sessions than during the games? And if so, are there elements to that swing that would make it unusable or would it at least give him a base to work with if they do have him try to tweak things?


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#9

Posted: March 11, 2021, 2:17 PM Post
Posts: 14488
CheeseheadInQC said:
Maybe I've just missed an explanation, but if he has shown plus raw power in batting practice does that mean that he has a different swing that he uses in those sessions than during the games? And if so, are there elements to that swing that would make it unusable or would it at least give him a base to work with if they do have him try to tweak things?


I think it essentially means the player has power to hit a ball far, but doesn't do it consistently in games. Why? Well BP is usually 60 MPH meatballs...in game isn't as simple as practice. Most of the time it probably boils down to pitch awareness and being able to square it up.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 11, 2021, 5:56 PM Post
Posts: 5140
Fear The Chorizo said:
I think at this stage you just hope like hell Mitchell actually gets a full minor league season to hit the ground running (not to mention all other minor leaguers) and get accustomed to pro ball.

I seem to recall a knock on Yelich when he came to the Brewers that his swing could be tweaked a bit to turn alot of high exit velocity grounders into more damaging extra base hits/HRs - and that's after he spent close to 5 seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins....too soon in Mitchell's career to dabble in a huge swing change, but the potential upside is too enticing not to attempt some gradual tweaks to better tap into his power. I think you start with the offensive speed/contact foundation that made him a 1st round pick and make minor adjustments during the course of a full minor league season, then put in the significant work in offseason training to develop that power.


I think this season, it would be a good idea to see just where he is now. In a non-pandemic season, Mitchell would have been at either Rocky Mountain or Arizona, and we'd be seeing just what his skill set was doing in a game setting. Until they can see that, it's a big roll of the dice to make changes until you have that baseline.

Incidentally, I think it's why there should have been a maintenance of those short-season minor leagues. For the Brewers, it does two things:
1. It gives you that baseline of where the players you drafted are, and how their skills and talent play out when another professional is doing their damnedest to get to the major leagues and another team is doing their best to win the darn ballgame.
2. They may find they have a late-round gem like Brent Suter or Quintin Torres-Costa on their hands.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#11

Posted: March 11, 2021, 6:54 PM Post
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MrTPlush said:
CheeseheadInQC said:
Maybe I've just missed an explanation, but if he has shown plus raw power in batting practice does that mean that he has a different swing that he uses in those sessions than during the games? And if so, are there elements to that swing that would make it unusable or would it at least give him a base to work with if they do have him try to tweak things?


I think it essentially means the player has power to hit a ball far, but doesn't do it consistently in games. Why? Well BP is usually 60 MPH meatballs...in game isn't as simple as practice. Most of the time it probably boils down to pitch awareness and being able to square it up.


For most guys, yes, but wasn't the central point behind this thread that Mitchell's swing just doesn't produce much loft? I have my suspicions that the plus-plus raw power reports aren't referring to peppering the bottom of the outfield wall with frozen ropes. If he is putting on HR shows in BP, that would seem to indicate that he is swinging differently at the meatballs than he swings in games.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#12

Posted: March 11, 2021, 9:11 PM Post
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Some swings from his last college season. Sometimes his swing is very uppercut and he drives the ball to the outfield. Sometimes it's very level and he hits line drives through the infield. I'd imagine a good number of those line drives would be outs with a wood bat and major league defense and scouting. Also, a lot of those hits looked and sounded like they weren't on the sweet spot. And his little shimmy drives the women here in Cleveland crazy.


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Online  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#13

Posted: March 13, 2021, 3:05 PM Post
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https://twitter.com/willsammon/status/1 ... 10179?s=21


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#14

Posted: March 13, 2021, 4:11 PM Post
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jerichoholicninja said:


Some swings from his last college season. Sometimes his swing is very uppercut and he drives the ball to the outfield. Sometimes it's very level and he hits line drives through the infield. I'd imagine a good number of those line drives would be outs with a wood bat and major league defense and scouting. Also, a lot of those hits looked and sounded like they weren't on the sweet spot. And his little shimmy drives the women here in Cleveland crazy.


I am not seeing what you are seeing. There are some swings that he gets on top of the ball and it bounces those will more than likely be converted to outs but it isn't a guarantee that they will. Just like in college there are times the ball just finds a hole and it goes through this is the randomness that is baseball. Line drives don't matter if it is wood or a metal bat those types of hits are going to land for hits the majority of the time. Line drives the majority of time are going to be close to perfection in terms of where it is hitting on the bat.

A metal bat is still more forgiving than a wood bat is where you don't have to hit the sweet spot perfectly to get good exit velocity. I actually prefer his swing as it is as he is adjusting to the pitch thrown. He looks like he puts an uppercut swing on pitches down which is what is being taught now (launch angle) and then he uses a more level swing with pitches above the belt. With all of the complaining about batters not shorting up their swing on this board this feels like a weird criticism of his swing when he is doing what a lot want to see. Not calling you out on this just a general observation.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#15

Posted: March 13, 2021, 7:05 PM Post
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Location: Portland, OR
I like his swing. Seems to be able to hit it where it’s pitched. I’m sure he’ll get better at turning on some pitches as time goes on. Looks kinda like Chase Utley when he gets a little leverage in his swing.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#16

Posted: March 13, 2021, 7:10 PM Post
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Kinda like Johnny Damon?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg3-7TrV70c

Damon's stance is a little more open.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 13, 2021, 8:18 PM Post
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I was thinking kind of like Nick Swisher but he had a closed stance.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#18

Posted: March 14, 2021, 7:50 AM Post
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KeithStone53151 said:
The Brewers I believe attempted to transforms Tyrone Taylor's swing when he reached high A. It took years for him to start seeing the results in games. From 2014-2016 and a chunk of 2017 he was pretty bad...it seems he finally got comfortable with the changes toward the end of 2017 and then 2018. It's fair to look at Tyrone Taylor as he is an incredible athlete just like Mitchell...and it took him a long time. Major swing changes definitely don't come easy to everyone and take time to implement. I will say I think it would be better for them to full commit to swing changes now versus waiting a couple years and then doing it.

This seems like the type of thing that makes sense to try to implement during an offseason with driveline or someone similar. I wouldn't mess around with it now during the minor league season.


By the time it worked for Taylor, he was at an age where unless there's a major injury, he's not going to get the opportunity to be an everyday player. I think Garrett Cooper was another guy. He was a terrific hitter at Auburn but for a guy 6'5" 230, his power numbers were modest to say the least. Brewers never regarded him as a top prospect because despite hitting for average, and showing patience at the plate, he didn't have big HR numbers. They were skeptical when his power emerged at Colorado Springs in 2017 (.652 slugging) and they dealt him for just another bullpen arm. He's still not a big HR guy for the Marlins but he's a quality big league hitter.

I'd leave Mitchell alone. He can hit.


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
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Posted: March 14, 2021, 1:20 PM Post
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JohnBriggs12 said:
KeithStone53151 said:
The Brewers I believe attempted to transforms Tyrone Taylor's swing when he reached high A. It took years for him to start seeing the results in games. From 2014-2016 and a chunk of 2017 he was pretty bad...it seems he finally got comfortable with the changes toward the end of 2017 and then 2018. It's fair to look at Tyrone Taylor as he is an incredible athlete just like Mitchell...and it took him a long time. Major swing changes definitely don't come easy to everyone and take time to implement. I will say I think it would be better for them to full commit to swing changes now versus waiting a couple years and then doing it.

This seems like the type of thing that makes sense to try to implement during an offseason with driveline or someone similar. I wouldn't mess around with it now during the minor league season.


By the time it worked for Taylor, he was at an age where unless there's a major injury, he's not going to get the opportunity to be an everyday player. I think Garrett Cooper was another guy. He was a terrific hitter at Auburn but for a guy 6'5" 230, his power numbers were modest to say the least. Brewers never regarded him as a top prospect because despite hitting for average, and showing patience at the plate, he didn't have big HR numbers. They were skeptical when his power emerged at Colorado Springs in 2017 (.652 slugging) and they dealt him for just another bullpen arm. He's still not a big HR guy for the Marlins but he's a quality big league hitter.

I'd leave Mitchell alone. He can hit.



They traded him because the day he was dealt Thames had a .936 OPS and Aguilar had a .911 OPS. and Cooper was never going to see playing time. He's played one full season's worth of games since the day of that trade which was at the all star break in 2017. Maybe the Brewers thought he would be injury prone.

"Dustin Pedroia doesn't have the strength or bat speed to hit major-league pitching consistently, and he has no power......He probably has a future as a backup infielder if he can stop rolling over to third base and shortstop." Keith Law, 2006


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Offline  Re: Garrett Mitchell’s Swing
#20

Posted: March 14, 2021, 2:33 PM Post
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homer said:
Kinda like Johnny Damon?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg3-7TrV70c

Damon's stance is a little more open.


I can see it. A Damon with good defense is a very valuable player.


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