Minor leaguer finds way to Dubois CountyAugust 24, 2020
By JONATHAN SAXON
HUNTINGBURG — Dubois County will get the chance to preview some Major League talent via the Liberation Professional Baseball League this fall.
Left-handed pitcher Andrew Mitchell, who was selected by the New York Mets in the 14th round of the 2018 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, was working his way through the minor leagues before their season was canceled due to COVID-19 in June. But instead of resigning himself to a lost season, Mitchell, through one of his pitching coordinators, was able to get a line on the baseball being played out of League Stadium.
“My pitching coordinator called me and asked if I wanted to get some innings since our season got canceled,” he said. “He said he had a hookup here, gave me the number and I got settled here.”
“We reached out and told him about our situation,” said Kevin Connolly, the assistant to Brian Williams, the owner of the California Dogecoin. “We told him about the stadium and the community behind us. There’s just not many places to play, and there’s so much uncertainty. He was like, ‘I want to play.’ ”
So Mitchell packed his bags and joined the Baseball Resume Bandits. Mitchell will play the rest of the season with the Bandits through October. His goals include boosting his strike zone accuracy and adding new pitches to his hurler’s toolbox.
“The biggest thing I want to work on is consistency in throwing strikes,” he said. “On top of that, I’ve developed a new pitch. I’m throwing a slider now, so I need to get that going against hitters and just seeing how it plays. (With) the change-up, I’m just trying to be consistent with that.”
Mitchell is looking forward to facing the new competition and growing as a player so he’ll be ready for his call up to the Show in the future. He’s grateful that he was able to find somewhere to play in the midst of the pandemic instead of leaving his arm on the shelf to gather dust.
“I think this is a great opportunity for me to not miss a year,” he said. “It was hard for me to find hitters back home to face. Being able to go into my routine, play against hitters and get exposure, it’s an awesome opportunity. I can send some data back to my coordinators and just keep working on a game plan for taking the next step.”
Connolly hopes Mitchell’s move can lead to a flood of other major league prospects to consider joining the Liberation Professional Baseball League so they can remain active as the country wades through the pandemic.
“There’s a lot of excitement,” said Connolly. “Everyone that’s a part of this league is working hard. Guys know how precious of an opportunity this is. I think you’re going to start seeing more players that are part of major league organizations come here to get work in and improve their skills. The talent is getting better everyday.”
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