CHICAGO – Rick Hahn usually mentions Dewayne Wise and Jordan Danks when he talks about internal left-handed-hitting help for the White Sox, while also throwing in switch-hitting backup catcher Hector Gimenez.
But don't overlook Jared Mitchell, the team's top pick in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft, who received rave reviews for where he was offensively coming out of instructional leagues.
"The best news I have about Mitchell, and Robin can attest to this, too, is that after [assistant general manager] Buddy Bell returned from Instructional League this year, he wouldn't shut up about where Jared is and, 'We can't possibly consider moving this guy, because he's ready to bust loose,'" said Hahn during Saturday's SoxFest Town Hall meeting. "Guys who have been working with him since he arrived here on campus are starting to get that excitement in their voice.
"He has a ton of tools, and it was always a matter at first of how quickly that development would happen. Then it turned out to be how badly that injury would impact him. The injury now seems to be behind him and the swing is getting to the point where our guys are getting excited and hopefully this will be a big year for him."
Mitchell, 24, was a part-time baseball and football player when selected out of LSU, and then suffered a torn tendon in his left ankle during Spring Training in 2010 that cost him that season and hampered his play in '11. Mitchell told MLB.com in December that he feels improvement simply from pure repetition of what he has been learning.