Jermaine Mitchell making a statement to Phils

Jermaine Mitchell isn't a guy that most Phillies fans know a lot about; but they're starting to learn. Mitchell has been hitting the ball well this spring and people are starting to talk.

If you saw a Phillies boxscore from this spring and saw the name Mitchell, you probably had one of two thoughts. Either you thought Derrick Mitchell was in the lineup, or you thought 'who?'.

This Mitchell is Jermaine Mitchell. He was drafted by the Oakland A's in the fifth round of the 2006 Draft and has played a total of 168 games at the Triple-A level coming into the 2013 season.

In 2011, Mitchell hit 15-78-.332/.430/.530 in 130 games between Double-A Midland and Triple-A Sacramento. He was also the A's co-Minor League Player of the Year for that season, even though the season ended with him undergoing knee surgery.

According to OaklandClubhouse.com, the season-ending injury that Mitchell suffered in 2011 turned out to be worse than initially thought and Mitchell underwent microfracture surgery that limited him in spring training and was a factor in keeping him off the Oakland roster for opening day. The injury also limited Mitchell's season in 2012, because the A's were cautious with him and he played in just 108 games and saw his numbers take a definite hit.

Even playing in a career-low 108 games last season, Mitchell still reached double digits in doubles (15), triples (11) and stolen bases (15). The previous season, he not only reached double digits in those categories, but added to the grouping with 15 home runs.

OaklandClubhouse.com senior editor Melissa Lockard provided the following scouting report on Mitchell from his days in the Oakland organization: "Good sense of the strike-zone, power to all fields and speed. Doesn't have great base stealing instincts but he has the speed to be an effective fielder. Can handle center and has an average arm. Hard worker but he sometimes can over think things and his swing mechanics can get out of whack. Lead off type with some power."

At 28, Mitchell is a little long in the tooth to be called a top prospect, but keep in mind that the A's organization has been pretty well stocked with outfielders the past few seasons and it's not easy to reach the majors with Oakland if you're an outfielder. The injury also set him back, but that should be behind him.

So, is there a scenario where Mitchell could make the Phillies out of spring training? It would have to play out something like this; with Delmon Young starting the year on the DL, there's room for an extra outfielder on the roster. If the Phillies start Darin Ruf at Lehigh Valley and use Domonic Brown at one corner outfield spot and some combination of Laynce Nix and John Mayberry Jr. at the other corner, there is room for a fifth outfielder.

The scenario doesn't stop there though, because the Phillies also like Ender Inciarte, who they took from the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. They could either give up on Inciarte and offer him back to Arizona or attempt to work out a deal with the D'backs to keep Inciarte in the organization. Basically, the decision would come down to being between Inciarte - who them would risk losing if they didn't keep him in the majors - and Mitchell, who they could send to Lehigh Valley, no questions asked.

Mitchell could hold an edge over Inciarte, because even though both players are left-handed hitters - which the Phillies could use off the bench - Mitchell brings more power to the table, which is another tool the Phillies could use on their bench.

The bottom line is that Mitchell is still a definite longshot and only has 15 at-bats this spring with the Phillies, but has collected seven hits for a .472 average. Mitchell could get a few extra at-bats in the near future to try to figure out just what they have in him and to help make the decision a little easier.

Jermaine Mitchell's career stats

YearTeamGABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLG
2006Vancouver (Low-A)371382350723231462227.362.460.507
2007Kane County (A)1224317912420585824874115.288.390.413
2008Stockton (High-A)11442255103203104923654116.244.338.377
2009Stockton (High-A)12445063111156334171073128.247.350.327
2010Stockton (High-A)78304689421710322195186.309.413.523
2010Midland (AA)37121162733011261941.223.331.298
2010Sacramento (AAA)3111210021013.182.250.273
2010combined stats1184368512325101045241571130.282.387.454
2011Midland (AA)74304671081513105014135465.355.453.589
2011Sacramento (AAA)5623248701435281353947.302.401.453
2011combined stats13053611517829161578271893112.332.430.530
2012Sacramento (AAA)10840975103151163815754104.252.345.386
7 Seasons7532822495792131535532514470441732.281.380.423
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/16/2013.



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