Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mizzou Baseball Recruits

■ One that got away: If Travis Mitchell had passed up the pros and come to Mizzou, he could now be a Junior for the Tigers, preparing for his third straight NCAA Regional.

River Bandit outfielder has shot at dream job with Cardinals (
Growing up in the shadows of St. Louis' old Busch Stadium, Travis Mitchell always dreamed of playing baseball for his hometown team.
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He is off to a .267 start at the plate for the Class A Quad-Cities River Bandits and has demonstrated the quickness and instincts in the outfield that were among the reasons St. Louis made the Chesterfield, Mo., native its 13th-round choice in the 2006 draft.

At the time, Mitchell had already signed a letter of intent to follow in his father's footsteps. He had signed to continue his career at Missouri, where his father Jim Mitchell played center field for the Tigers before a shoulder injury brought his career to an abrupt end.
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Mitchell was prepared to begin his college career in the Big 12, but opted to begin his professional career after being selected by the Cardinals.
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"He has good quickness and has shown good enthusiasm and a willingness to work," Dillard said. "We just need to harness his energy into the right direction and that will help him a lot."

Mitchell, now 21 years old, has a better understanding of that as his fourth professional season begins.

"This game is about learning, about growing, and I see that now more than ever," he

Growing up in the neighborhood of the parent club he now works for hasn't hurt. Mitchell has access to the Cardinals' training facilities at Busch Stadium in the offseason and having a chance to be around other St. Louis players who live in that area as they work is one perk he relishes.

"To have a chance to be around guys like Kyle McClellan and Chris Duncan, guys who have made it to the majors, and to see how hard they work, I learn a lot by watching
them," Mitchell said. "I'm trying to get where they are at."

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