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High School | General | 5/12/2022

Blake Mitchell Just Keeps Climbing

Blake Dowson     
Photo: Blake Mitchell
SINTON, Texas -- Blake Mitchell knows what he’s getting himself into. It comes with the territory when you’re a top-10 prospect in the 2023 class.
 
“I talked to a lot of the guys last year from the USA National team,” Mitchell said. They went straight from the PG All-American to the USA trials and then straight to the National team. I talked to guys like Gavin Guidry, he was on my flight, about all that stuff.”
 
The stuff referenced by Mitchell is the circuit these top prospects go on the summer before their draft-eligible spring. It includes PG National, the Perfect Game All-American Classic, MLB’s Prospect Development Pipeline League, and the High School All-American Game, held in conjuncture with the MLB All-Star Game.
 
Mitchell got a taste of all that last summer, playing with the 18u National team that was full of top 2022 talent. The roster included guys like Termarr Johnson, Elijah Green, and Druw Jones, and Mitchell got to catch for the likes of Jackson Ferris, Andrew Dutkanych, and Riley Stanford.
 
All six of those prospects were at both PG National and the PG All-American Classic earlier in the summer, which Mitchell said is his goal for himself. He will be at PG National, and hopes to get an invite to the Classic, which will be held at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona this August.
 
The groundwork has been laid, as Mitchell has seen his prospect status do nothing but grow in the past year. In Perfect Game’s most recent 2023 prospect rankings, Mitchell is all the way up at No. 6 overall, checking in as the top player from talent-rich Texas and the No. 1 catcher in the class.
 
At the same point last year, he sat at No. 113 overall in the class. So, what changed?
 
“Physically, overall, I’ve just gotten a lot bigger, stronger, faster,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been in the weight room and really matured that way, just learning what I need to do in the weight room to reach my peak performance. I do as many baseball lifts as possible. Some guys go in there and just want to look big and do body builder lifts, but I want to be the best athlete possible.”
 
That’s a common refrain from top prospects. To find yourself as a top-10 overall player in your class it takes natural talent, and oh does Mitchell have plenty of that. But plenty of players possess natural gifts.
 
It ends up being the ones who work harder for it that turn into PG All-Americans and high draft picks. Spending more time in the weight room, in the batting cage, stretching, they’re all separators.
 
Make no mistake, though, the natural talent is plentiful with Mitchell. He has known for a while he has a gift on the diamond.
 
“When I knew, it was in my 15u year,” he said. “14u, I was always one of the smaller guys. I was 5-foot-8, 150 pounds. Going into my 15u year, I jumped up to like 6-foot, 180 pounds. Before that, on the mound, I topped out at like 80 mph. Then I grew, and I topped out at 91 mph. At that moment I kind of knew, I had something special.”
 
Mitchell finds himself on the mound occasionally, both for Sinton High School, which is currently ranked No. 46 in PG’s High School Top 50 and just started a playoff run, and Texas Twelve, the travel ball organization he plays for. In Jupiter last fall, Mitchell tossed 1 1/3 scoreless innings and was up to 92 mph. At the Perfect Game 16u World Series last summer, Mitchell earned an All-Tournament Team nod on the mound, throwing 9 2/3 innings and striking out 18 without giving up a run.
 
He’ll be behind the plate on the showcase circuit this summer, though, because as impressive as his arm is on the mound, the sub-2.00 second pop times it produces behind the dish along with the left-handed juice at it is where he truly shows his potential.
 
It’s all been on display this spring for Sinton, which just pushed its way through to the second round of the playoffs thanks to a pair of wins over Brazosport, in which the combined score was 24-1. That’s been the trend this season for Sinton – a whole lot of 10-run wins for a team that currently sits at 28-1 and ranks No. 6 in the TexArklahoma Region.
 
So for now, the showcase circuit can wait. Mitchell wouldn’t mind winning a state championship first.
 
“There’s been a lot of offense,” he said. “We’ve been swinging the bats well all year. I’m really excited to be a part of this team.”
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