As the Milwaukee Brewers season was on its way to a disappointing end late in 2022, one bright spot was the debut of outfielder Garrett Mitchell. Anticipation was high for the 2020 first rounder and he by and large lived up to the hype.
Mitchell got off to a bit of a slow start, but eventually was providing a spark for the Crew down the stretch. Whether he was beating out grounders on the infield, turning singles into doubles, making spectacular diving catches, or delivering a walkoff win, he put on a show at times in just over a month of play.
When all was said and done, Mitchell played in 28 games, batting .311 with a .373 on base percentage and .459 slugging percentage. He had three doubles, two doubles, scored nine runs, and was successful in all eight stolen base attempts.
As the Brewers continue ramping their way up toward the regular season this spring, the starting center field job is basically Mitchell's to lose. And if you look at how his first few Cactus League games have gone, he is leaving little doubt as to that fact.
So far this spring, Brewers outfielder Garrett Mitchell is picking up right where he left off last fall.
Mitchell started things off with a bang in the Brewers' first Cactus League game on February 5th. That day he went 2-for-3 with both hits being homers while driving in four. His second bomb even cleared the center field batter's eye.
Two days later, Mitchell went 1-for-3 with his one hit being a run-scoring single. A couple days after that, he again went 1-for-3, stretching a slow single to left into a double and scoring three batters later via an Abraham Toro RBI single.
And earlier today, Mitchell made it a four-game hitting streak as he singled to lead off the game and scored on the very next play, a Luis Urias RBI double. That small sample size equates to a .417/.417/1.000 slash line with a double, two homers, and four runs scored.
Of course, one thing to keep an eye on this spring is whether Mitchell can reduce his strikeout rate. It's not uncommon for a young player to struggle with strikeouts in his first year in the league, but Mitchell's 41.2% strikeout rate last season is high by even those standards. He has strikeouts in three of four Cactus League games, four punch-outs overall, good for a 33.3% strikeout rate.
Regardless, Mitchell is showing no signs of slowing down so far this spring. That's good news for the state of the Brewers' current and future outfield.