Mychal Givens was drafted by the Orioles in the 2nd round of the 2009 draft out of Plant HS (Tampa, FL). As both a pitching and infield prospect, the Orioles had the decision of choosing between one of the positions. They chose to make Givens an infielder; mainly a shortstop.
Don: Note Disclaimer: I thought it was best for him to be a pitcher in the 2009 draft. He sat in the 92-94 mph range, touched 96-98 mph in single inning work. The pitch had some decent sink action with the lower slotted arm angle. I thought he could have worked an impressive slider with the lower slot and maybe his change up would have allowed him to gain three pitches in time. The load was a bit heavy, but not in any category I thought was posing a problem. It was my recommendation that he would be turned loose as a late inning bullpen arm. The angle made it tough to pick up and allowed his pitches to move, even at faster speeds.
As with most kids from certain parts of Florida, the heavy curve ball diet from prep pitchers can stump pitch recognition and elongate the learning curve for prep hitters. This learning curve is a tough habit to break for some hitters, and an easy transition for others. I cannot pinpoint to say this is the sole cause, but he continues to show inconsistency, late swings, chasing pitches and other times the tools start to shine showing a high contact hitter. I do not know if he had a tough time picking up quality off-speed and being able to catch up on the fastball.
He has a nice line drive swing, but his load is doing a disservice to him at this time. He does draw back a bit more leaving him longer in the zone; it enhances the need to firmly recognize the pitch.
I watched a few of his winter ball at bats and some things are turning the corner, but still the inconsistency and bad habits are present.
From a ceiling standpoint, he has the nice bat path to spray the ball over the field. At his best, it is a nice transfer of weight and attacking through the ball. He has things to hold his hat on to show some success down the line. He is still 21 and would be a draft eligible Junior this season. All it takes is one hitting instructor getting through. Maybe he wants to be tested, a higher promotion to Frederick might light a fire in him to prove he belongs. He is likely to start out at Delmarva again this spring and take it from this point.
I do think the kid could salvage his career on the mound and the potential is present to showcase as a quick moving late inning pitching prospect. It is an option that should be on the Orioles table, if he fails to show progression at the plate.
The 2012 season will provide more clues as to where Givens truly fits on the baseball field. Will he improve enough with the bat to stick as an infield prospect? Do the Orioles convert him to a pitcher already? These two questions could fruition into answers in the near future.
|2010||20||4 Teams||4 Lgs||A–Rk-A-A+||BAL||23||102||84||14||24||5||0||3||12||3||3||11||10||.286||.402||.452||.854|
|2011||21||2 Teams||2 Lgs||A–A||BAL||131||553||486||51||118||16||2||1||45||20||11||41||75||.243||.318||.290||.608|