Brewers: Could Garrett Mitchell be 1st position player from 2020 Draft to hit the Majors?

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers' Garrett Mitchell (5) pops up against the Beloit Snappers Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis.Apc Rattlersvsbeloit 0504211701djp
Wisconsin Timber Rattlers' Garrett Mitchell (5) pops up against the Beloit Snappers Tuesday, May 4, 2021, at Neuroscience Group Field at Fox Cities Stadium in Grand Chute, Wis.Apc Rattlersvsbeloit 0504211701djp /

It seems a lot longer than just a year ago when Garrett Mitchell was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the 2020 MLB Draft. The outfielder fell into Milwaukee’s lap, and they took advantage with pick number 20.

After missing out on a normal rookie season, Mitchell was a non-roster invite during the team’s 2021 Spring Training. He had a batting average of .367, six RBIs and one home run. Already showing impressive signs, the first round pick was assigned to Milwaukee’s High-A team the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.

Just after the Independence Day weekend, Mitchell was promoted to the Biloxi Shuckers in Double-A. He was added to the active roster on July 6th, and even got his first hit during his first at-bat.

During his short time with the Timber Rattlers, he had five home runs, 20 RBIs, 12 stolen bases and a .359/.504/.620 slash line. That was just over 28 games and included a minor injury setback. An impressive debut with it being just over a year after being drafted.

So with his speedy promotion to Double-A, will Mitchell be the first position player to hit the big leagues from the 2020 Draft? Let’s take a quick look at the picks.

Infielder Spencer Torkelson was taken first overall by the Detroit Tigers in 2020. His trajectory has been similar to Mitchell’s. He was a non-roster invite to spring and started in High-A. In Mid-June, he was promoted to Double-A after hitting .312 with five home runs and 28 RBIs over 31 games. Very comparable stats to Mitchell. He was also selected back in June to play in the All-Star Futures Game.

Heston Kjerstad was selected number two overall by the Baltimore Orioles. The outfielder unfortunately developed myocarditis, which is inflammation of the heart muscle. He missed spring training and the first part of the current baseball season. He has yet to make his debut, and the hope is he can make a quick and full recovery.

Shortstop Austin Martin was the fifth overall pick. The new Toronto Blue Jay actually started with their Double-A affiliate the New Hampshire Fisher Cats right out of Spring Training. Martin did land on the injured list a few times since then, but was recently re-activated on July 13th. He is currently slashing .274/.402./.378 and has two home runs and 16 RBIs over 45 games.

The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted infielder Nick Gonzales with the seventh overall pick. The shortstop is currently still in High-A, but did miss a month a month on the injured list. A string of other outfielders selected before Mitchell are all still in Single-A. The 8th pick, Robert Hassell III of the Padres, 9th overall pick Zac Veen of the Rockies, and number 12 pick Austin Hendrick for the Reds.

A group of infielders have yet to be promoted yet as well. Patrick Bailey, number 13 from the San Francisco Giants. Justin Foscue at 14 from the Texas Rangers, Ed Howard with the Chicago Cubs at 16 and Nick York selected at 17 with the Boston Red Sox. Foscue has also spent some time in the Arizona Complex League, a rookie-level minor league system with 18 teams. That doesn’t mean these players won’t be promoted soon, they just haven’t yet.

The outfielder selected just before Mitchell at 19 was Pete Crow-Armstrong. He was picked by the New York Mets.  Crow-Armstrong only had 24 at-bats this year before suffering a right shoulder injury. He had to undergo surgery, and will miss the remainder of 2021.

The position players drafted after Garrett Mitchell in the first round all remain in Single-A ball as well. This puts the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder in a great current progression and could be ahead of schedule before debuting in the majors.

It’s still very early in their careers, but Mitchell progressing the same as the number one overall pick Torkelson is great to see. He, along with Martin, are the only other players who have been promoted to Double-A already. Mitchell is also the only outfielder that has promoted already from the 2020 draft.

It might be a tight race with Torkelson, but if Mitchell continues his pace this year, he could be the first player out of the draft to make it. The one thing working against Mitchell is that the Brewers don’t need to rush him up and are focused on competing rather than moving up prospects. The Tigers have their competitive hopes pinned on Torkelson. The Brewers don’t have theirs pinned on Mitchell right now.

Next. Complete Grades For Brewers 2021 MLB Draft Class. dark

Mitchell is on that same track. It would be quite impressive for him to make it to the big leagues first after being overlooked by many teams and dropping to the Brewers. A certain Packers quarterback had a chip on his shoulder after dropping in the draft, and did quite well for himself.