He is ready for the challenge.
Moving up one step for 2008 provided a built-in benefit for the 38-year-old as he coached many, if not all of his hitters in the Midwest League last season.
In addition, Mitchell can relate to many of the trials and tribulations his youthful charges face daily. After being drafted in the fourth round in 1987, he cut his professional teeth in the Atlanta Braves organization. Along the way, Mitchell went through a major position change yet made his Major League debut in July, 1991 at the tender age of 22.
As many learned before him, it wouldn't be easy to remain there, however. The San Diego native would eventually accrue just 242 major league at-bats over parts of four seasons with four different clubs between 1991 and 1998.
Interspersed were hundreds of bus trips, as Mitchell racked up over 5000 minor league at-bats before his 18-year playing career ended following the 2003 season. The San Diego native became a professional coach when he joined the Cardinals organization for the 2005 campaign.
In this exclusive interview, Mitchell talks about his growth as a teacher, interspersed with ample comments about how his 2008 Palm Beach hitters have accepted his coaching methodology and grown as players.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at email@example.com.
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