One-on-One With Evan Mitchell

Former Mississippi State baseball player Evan Mitchell talks one-on-one with Gene's Page about MSU Baseball Fan Day, playing for Mississippi State and playing in the minor leagues.


What does it mean to you, as a former Mississippi State baseball player, to come back and meet the fans and sign autographs for them at Fan Day?
"It is awesome to come back with some of the guys who played here and get the support that we still receive from the Mississippi State fans. Wherever we are playing (in the pros) we always get some fans to come up to us and ask how we are doing and check in with us, telling us that they followed us from when we were at Mississippi State."

When you see MSU fans at places that you play in the minor leagues, what does it mean to you to see them?
"It is awesome. We actually had a couple of fans come up to our game in Wisconsin this year. They told me they remember watching me play at Mississippi State and they had moved to Wisconsin. It is kind of cool to see southern faces when you are in the middle of nowhere or on the road. It is always great to have fans come to your games and support you."

How has your pro career gone so far?
"It has been going well so far. I was in Dayton, Ohio last year with their Low-A (minor league) team. This will be my second full season. So, hopefully, I can make some moves, string together some good outings, then see what happens."

Unlike college where you had coaches and other people helping you, it's more you being on your own in the pros, isn't it?
"Yeah, you have to run your own life. You are all by yourself. You can get as much out of it as you want. But at Mississippi State they prepared us well for all that we deal with. They taught us to grow up pretty quick."

Since being in the pros, how has your game improved?
"I am throwing a lot more strikes. That has been the biggest improvement. When you are throwing strikes you are going to get people out most of the time."

Do the pro coaches talk to you about the path they want you to take to help you get to the Big Leagues?
"Not too often. What they will do is describe to you what they want to see in you so you can become successful. They will try to guide you in that direction. If you jump on that, then you can jump up the ladder very quickly. But if you are struggling they will keep you down."

I saw you in high school and at MSU. You threw mid to high 80s in high school and then jumped up to the low to mid 90s in college. What is your velocity now?
"Yeah, I didn't throw hard at all in high school. Then, I came to Mississippi State and worked with Coach Thompson to strengthen the arm. Since I got to pro ball I have stayed at that same velocity, low to mid 90s."

Colleges are using the low seam baseball this season. You have used it two years now. How different was it when you first started using it?
"I didn't see too much difference. When you throw a couple of bullpens you get adjusted to it. I think it is good for pitchers because you can always get more movement on it."


Gene Swindoll is the publisher of the GenesPage.com website, the source for Mississippi State sports on Scout.com sports network. You can contact him by emailing swindoll@genespage.com.


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