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Brewers choose Garrett Mitchell overcomes concerns over potency and diabetes

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UCLA outfielder Garrett Mitchell, the Brewers’ first round choice, is not worried about his lack of circuits at the university. (Photo: Kyusong Gong, Associated Press)

As the head of UCLA in the past two seasons, Garrett Mitchell has put together an impressive enough job to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to select him 20th overall in the Wednesday night amateur draft.

Many thought the left-hitter was in the top 10, so the first catch was that the Brewers got a gem that fell further than expected.

But why the slide?

The only hit on the 6-foot-3, 215-pound game was that it didn’t show consistent power for the Bruins, hitting just six home runs – all in second year in 2019 – in two or more seasons.

“It’s funny, because people want to hit the power numbers, (saying) that they’re not there. He has BP pop but that doesn’t translate into games. “MItchell, who was already wearing a Brewers cap, told reporters on a Zoom call shortly after being chosen.

“But it was never the job coach (John) Savage asked me, being in the lead. It was to put pressure on the teams, to be on the base, to wreak havoc and help to score points, and to help win games in any way. I could tell you that he did the best job possible.

“Trying to hit home circuits is a different approach on the plate. My goal was to be a line-drive, gap-in-play, use most of the field and let my speed take care of the rest. “

Despite lack of home runs, Mitchell averaged 0.327, base percentage of 0.393 and beat 0.478 in 121 games at UCLA after refusing to sign with Oakland A as 14th round pick in 2017.

He was seated at .355 / .425 / .484 through 15 games last season before the COVID-19 pandemic broke up all college sports.

Mitchell also has type 1 diabetes, a factor that may have scared some teams. The Brewers were unable to sign their 2010 first-round pick, right-hander Dylan Covey, after learning that he had type 1 diabetes in his physical condition after the draft, but Mitchell, 21, was diagnosed as a child.

“A lot of these teams, it’s not that I couldn’t play or I’m not good at what I do, but it depended on diabetes – which teams want to deal with, which teams are comfortable with the team is ready to seize this opportunity, “said Mitchell, who knew the Brewers well after playing for their area code and the fall league teams as a youth.

“I couldn’t be more thankful that it was the Milwaukee Brewers. They know me. They know I’m going to work my bottom every day and try to help this team win a world series. “

Mitchell said he doesn’t see his health as an obstacle.

“Personally, I don’t really see it as a challenge,” he said. “Obviously, there are a lot of people who do and who have wondered if this would be a factor in the future. But I took this as an advantage because I know how my body works.

“I know what I need to do to make it feel good.” I know how much rest I need to be ready to play each day, how many nutrients make me feel better every day. This is an advantage because many people do not know what their body needs, but I can put myself in the best situation every day when I go out on the field.

“It is not a challenge for me. It’s my daily life, and to be honest, I forget that I have diabetes. “

Tod Johnson, vice-president of national brewing scouting, said he believed Mitchell would be able to stay in the center field as a professional and that he also plans to be a high-end hitter.

It remains to be seen when and where this will happen, with Major League Baseball and the players’ association still trying to reach an agreement to start playing at the big league level. The prevailing belief is that there will be no minor league season until 2021.

“At the moment, I don’t know,” said Mitchell. “My phone hasn’t stopped vibrating in the past few hours, but I have no idea what the plan is. Whatever they want me to do, I’ll be ready to go. The only thing I can tell you is that I’m ready for anything.

“It’s a bit of a challenge because when you’re not there every day, it’s not the same thing, staying in shape every day. I treated this time like it was an off-season. No matter what the time is, you need to be ready and ready to go. More like a spring training scenario.

“I am confident in the work that I have accomplished so far, I will be ready to jump from the jump. I just want to go back to baseball. First we have to bring the pros back there. “

Since the beginning of March, when college baseball was stopped, it has been a journey for Mitchell, as he has done his best to position himself for the draft although he is unable to do so in game situations.

“It was a lot. This is probably the answer you will get from anyone in this situation, “he said. “At the end of the season, I packed my things, went home – I live about an hour from school – and went back to work knowing there was nothing else I could do.

“The team we had, returning from last year to this year, I was excited for what this team was going to do. My dad is a physical trainer and massage therapist, so I lift each day. I have I went to the cage as much as possible. I spent this time making sure I stayed strong physically and mentally.

“I thank God for this moment. Everything happens for a reason. When my name was called, I broke down. There is so much on my shoulders and now I can just relax and play baseball again. I can play a game that I absolutely love and it is my job. I couldn’t be more excited. ”

Mitchell was Milwaukee’s No. 20 first choice and the team’s first outfielder in the first round since Trent Clark (15th) and Corey Ray (5th) were chosen in 2015 and 2016 respectively.

The value of the location at # 20 is $ 3,242,900, and Mitchell’s agent is Scott Boras.

“That’s the goal,” said Mitchell when asked if he thought he was going to sign. ” I hope. “

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