Q&A with Oklahoma Commit Justin Mitchell (Platte County, 2017)



Shon Plack
Missouri Scouting Director

Justin Mitchell (Platte County, 2017) is a 5-foot-11 195-pound right-handed hitting catcher and a is combination of strength and athleticism.  He runs a 6.78 60 and has a 91 mph exit velo, both among the top at the Underclass Games in June. At the plate, Mitchell starts with a wide stance, uses a toe touch to load with minimal movements in hands.  He has the ability to hit to both gaps with power.  On the infield, Mitchell has an 82 mph velo with quick feet, and range. He has an over-the-top release, clean exchange,  and makes accurate throws. During catching evaluations, Mitchell showed quick movements in glove-to-hand exchange and feet.  He has aggressive momentum towards second base, with  pop times between 1.90 and 2.00.

Mitchell is a two-sport athlete, excelling on the football field as well as the baseball diamond.  He earned a spot at the Midwest Scout Workout in June at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City.  At the end of the summer, Mitchell gave his verbal commitment to Oklahoma.

Here is a look at the recruiting process for Justin Mitchell.

PBR: What were your expectations about the recruiting process? Was it as expected? Easy/Difficult?

Mitchell: I didn’t really think about it much because I didn’t want to stress myself out about it. I knew that if it was meant to be it was going to happen but if not then it wouldn’t.

It came easy for me because I had help from my parents who were both college athletes and had gone through the same process, which helped me out a lot.

PBR: Did location or distance from home play a factor in your decision?

Mitchell: It didn’t play much of a role to me because I wanted to go to the place that felt right to me, no matter where it was.

PBR: Where did Oklahoma first see you? How did your relationship develop with them?

Mitchell: Oklahoma first saw me in Joplin at the 17u Premier Championships, and that next week I took a visit to Oklahoma and from then on I just thought there was something special about Oklahoma and I loved it, the coaches, the facilities, the atmosphere, and the campus were awesome, and I knew it was the place I wanted to attend.

PBR: Who is the best player you have faced in your state, and why?

Mitchell: Marquise Doherty because he’s an all-around athlete, who had all tools to play baseball.

PBR: What advice would you give to young baseball players striving to get where you are?

Mitchell: Don’t worry about trying to impress coaches, just play. Don’t focus on the things you can’t control and don’t get caught up in the lights. Understand the game of baseball, don’t get mad if it doesn’t go your way, it’s a game of failure and coaches want to see how you respond to adversity. Don’t ever dog it and think you are too good to hustle, hustle everywhere and respect the game of baseball.

PBR: What do you do in the offseason to keep yourself in baseball shape and prepare for the upcoming season?

Mitchell: I play football in the fall which keeps me in good shape and as soon as football is over, I am lifting with speed work. In the beginning of November is when I start hitting and really get into my baseball prep.

PBR: What is the most memorable moment in your baseball career to this point?

Mitchell: Getting asked to play in Kauffman Stadium in front of the Midwest Scouts with many other great high school players from the midwest.

PBR: What other schools were on your short list before you made your final decision?

Mitchell: Arkansas, Notre Dame, Missouri State, and Missouri

PBR: When did the recruiting process really start to heat up for you? Was there a particular game or event that you feel turned the corner for you?

Mitchell: It started after my freshman year and then really started to heat up my sophomore summer. A tournament I played at Arkansas really blew up for me, and it’s when I started receiving offers.

PBR: Preview your high school season for us. How do you feel your team will be? What are your expectations and goals? Name some players that will play a key role for Platte County in 2016.

Mitchell: I feel like we have a special team this year after only losing one senior from last year, we need pitching to make it far and into the postseason.

My expectations and goals are to start small and work our way up, focus on one thing at a time, start with winning conference, the districts, and so on.

Jared Wilson and Grant Carver will have key roles on our pitching staff this year. Kodee Martin will help lead our infield as well.

PBR: Where do you play in the summer? And what has been your most memorable experience with them?

Mitchell: I play with Building Champions. The most memorable moment to me was in Lubbock, Texas last year in the Premier Championship, playing the South Texas Sliders and losing 7-0 in the 4th inning and Max Hewlett came in to pitch and shut them down, and we came back and won 8-7.

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