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Monday, May 15, 2023

Keith Mitchell made 4 bigs seasons, later saw Korea, coached

Keith Mitchell 1990 Durham Bulls card, Mitchell seen smiling

In his second professional season in 1988, Atlanta Braves farmhand Keith Mitchell assessed his progress to The Sumter Item.

"I think I've done a pretty good job so far this year," Mitchell told The Item as a member of single-A Sumter. "In my game overall I think I've done all right. I'm improving but I'm still not having the year I would like to have."

Mitchell eventually improved enough to have seasons organizations liked him to have, enough to see the bigs over four seasons.

Mitchell's career began in 1987, taken by the Braves in the fourth round of the draft out of Abraham Lincoln High School in San Diego. Mitchell is a cousin of fellow big leaguer Kevin Mitchell.

Mitchell started with the Braves in the rookie Gulf Coast League. He hit .240 in 57 games. He then moved to Sumter for 1988 and then single-A Burlington for 1989. He hit .261, with 10 home runs in 127 games at Burlington.

Mitchell moved to high-A Durham for 1990, then saw AA Greenville, AAA Richmond and then major league Atlanta in 1991.

Mitchell debuted with the Braves that July 23. His first start came Aug. 4, going 3 for 5, with an RBI and stolen base. "I came in and saw my name on the lineup and said. 'Wow,'" Mitchell told The Atlanta Constitution.

Mitchell saw 48 games in all for the Braves that year. He hit .318, with two home runs and three stolen bases.

He then returned to the minors for 1992 and 1993. He then signed with the Mariners for 1994 and made the team out of spring training.

That March, after making the team, he spoke to The Associated Press about returning to the majors and advice he received from his cousin Kevin Mitchell.

"Kevin and I are close," Keith Mitchell told The AP then. "He said I had to go out and do what I could do. He told me to show them that I could play."

Mitchell saw 46 games for the Mariners that year and hit .227. He returned to the majors for 11 games with the Reds in 1996 and 23 more with the Red Sox in 1998 to end his big league career.

Mitchell then continued playing into 2003, in the minors, independent ball, Mexico and Korea. 

He then turned minor league coach and manager. He's last credited as coaching at high-A Palm Beach in 2008.

Keith Mitchell 1990 Durham Bulls card, Mitchell seen smiling

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:4,164
Made the Majors:1,375-33.0%-X
Never Made Majors:2,789-67.0%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:558
10+ Seasons in the Minors:340

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