When this story was in its infancy stage, it was supposed to be about the newest MLBbro, Cal Mitchell getting his first chance to play for the Pittsburgh Pirates after being recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis after showing improvement in the Pirates’ minor league system.
With the Pirates struggling so much with depth in the outfield, our MLBbro found himself with a golden opportunity to show what he had over this past weekend in Pittsburgh’s 3-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
In his 10th game spanning 37 plate appearances, rookie Cal Mitchell had his first of many “Can’t forget” moments as he hit his first career home run.
Cal Mitchell with his first Major League home run!! pic.twitter.com/iXn5OSGPIk
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) June 5, 2022
This fifth inning launch off Zach Gallen broke a scoreless tie and gave the Pirates a lead that they never relinquished. Mitchell is now one of seven rookies that are currently on a roster that is supplying offensive production that most did not see coming.
Our MLBbro talked about his adjustment period via MLB.com.
“It’s cool. It’s guys that I’ve played with for a long time, like Travis, and guys like I recently met last year, like Jack,” Mitchell said. “We’re all great friends with each other and all have been fighting our way up here as long as we’ve been Pirates. It’s cool to be here together now.”
But our MLBbro’s journey to the professional level might be more interesting than his first career home run over the weekend.
Not every ball player had a mentor that is up for election for the Baseball Hall of Fame such as Black Ace Dave Stewart, who was one of the all-time great right-handed pitchers of his era. His resume shows how lucky Cal Mitchell was to be able to play for Stewart’s Easton A’s from the ages of 11 to 13.
Now 23 years of age and well into his MLB journey, Mitchell says he didn’t realize the kinds of jewels that were being bestowed upon him by the 20-game winner and mound technician known as “Smoke.”
“It’s wild, Mitchell said. “When I was a kid, I didn’t understand the gravity of it until now. Having him in my life helps with everything. How to handle yourself on the field. What the big leagues was going to be like or what the big leagues is like now.”
“He’s a great friend, Mitchell said. “He’s knowledgeable on lots of things about baseball and life, just how to navigate this new thing that I’m doing. It’s invaluable.”
But our MLBbro didn’t just have the advantage of getting an encyclopedia’s worth of baseball knowledge from a MLBbro icon, the 2017 second round pick also is a product of the new MLB Diversity Programs which identifies, develops, supports and cultivates young Black talent, providing them with resources, professional training and educational opportunities that aren’t readily available to them.
Mitchell utilized the MLB Diversity Pipeline and parlayed it into a roster spot on the Pirates.
Mitchell placed 25th on the MLB Pipeline list with 38 hits in 124 plate appearances that included nine doubles, five home runs with 26 RBI. That put him on Pittsburgh’s radar when they ranked him 7th in 2019.
Now he’s ready to secure his place as a mainstay in the MLB mix. Congratulations to Cal Mitchell on his first homer from MLBbro.com.