07/08/09 8:35 PM ET
White Sox ink first-round pick Mitchell
LSU star was picked 23rd overall, will report to Kannapolis
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
Selected at No. 23 overall, Mitchell received a reported $1.2 million signing bonus and is set to report to Class A Kannapolis for his debut on Thursday in a home game against Lakewood. The agreement appeared in the offing on Tuesday, when Mitchell was in Chicago for his physical and to get a look around U.S. Cellular Field.
The fleet-footed left-handed hitter from LSU hit .327 with 11 home runs, 50 RBIs and a team-leading 35 stolen bases as a junior during the Tigers' recently completed championship season. Mitchell was named the Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series after going 8-for-23 with two homers and seven RBIs in six games.
During a brief chat with the Chicago media on Tuesday, Mitchell explained his initial goals as a professional player as "being consistent" and a "force in all facets of the game." Mitchell also talked about how playing both baseball and football for the top-notch LSU programs helped him prepare for this next level of competition.
"It pushes the maturation process along that much more," Mitchell said. "Coming from LSU, greatness is expected in everything that you do. That's what your coaches expect out of you. That's what your teammates expect out of you. It makes you work that much harder. It instills that work ethic into you, so it helps a lot.
"Team sports are probably one of the greatest teachers in life. If you can't function well in a team atmosphere, there are not too many things you're going to be able to do in life and really be successful, so I think it's definitely important."
Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.