The New York Yankees promoted right-hander Bryan Mitchell to the major league roster on Friday night. Mitchell was recently involved in a trade rumor: according to George King at the New York Post, the Seattle Mariners and the Yankees were attempting to work out a trade for Dustin Ackley at the deadline, but the Mariners wanted Mitchell and the Yankees said no.
Mitchell was a 16th round pick in 2009 from high school in Hamlet, North Carolina. The draft position was deceptive: he was rated as a second-round talent pre-draft but had a University of North Carolina scholarship and large bonus demands; it took $800,000 to sign him.
Although he's moved through the system steadily, he hasn't fully lived up to his potential. He posted a 4.58 ERA with a 121/72 K/BB in 120 innings for Low-A Charleston in 2012, and a 4.71 ERA with a 120/58 K/BB and 158 hits in 145 innings between High-A Tampa and Double-A Trenton in 2013.
He made 13 starts for Trenton this year with similar results (4.84 ERA, 60/29 K/BB in 61 innings, 64 hits) but was promoted to Triple-A Scranton anyway. Interestingly, he's done some of the best pitching of his career in the International League, with a 2.88 ERA and a 21/10 K/BB in 25 innings.
Although the results have not always been there, Mitchell has plenty of stuff. He's been clocked as high as 96 at times, works consistently at 91-94, and has an outstanding power curveball. He's made progress with his change-up and added a cutter this year. He is listed at 6-3, 205, born April 19, 1991.
Why the disparity between stuff and results? Mitchell loses his release point at times, flattening out his fastball and telegraphing the secondary pitches. Although his stuff can be overpowering, he sometimes gives hitters too much credit and shies away from challenging them, resulting in excess nibbling. That hasn't been a big problem lately and he's performed very well in four of his five Triple-A starts, enough progress that the Yankees didn't want to give him up for Ackley.
Although his arsenal is diverse enough for him to start, Mitchell may ultimately fit best in relief. Shorter outings may keep his mechanics in gear, help the fastball stay at the upper ranges of his velocity band, and sharpen his command.
This video from MLBProspectPortal is a year old but gives a good look at his breaking ball.