(Donovan Mitchell, 6’3 showing off his 6’10 wingspan)
Donovan Mitchell the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, looks to make an impact in his rookie season. While Mitchell prepares for the upcoming season he is enjoying one of his favorite things in the world, baseball. I had the opportunity to catch up with Mitchell prior to the Mets-Dodgers matinee, which featured top prospect Amed Rosario’s in his 1st game at Citi Field and Yu Darvish’s 1st start with Los Angeles Dodgers.
Anderson: I hear that you were quite a baseball player prior to making the transition into playing basketball.
Mitchell: I was a pretty good pitcher and shortstop, I had a lot of fun but I think I picked the right sport.
Speaking of pitching, we’re getting ready to see a good pitching duel between Jacob DeGrom and Yu Darvish, who is your favorite pitcher in the MLB?
Mitchell: I don’t have a favorite but I would say [Matt] Harvey, [Jacob] Degrom, [Zack] Wheeler and Noah [Syndergaard] as well. Those four are probably like my favorite. Obviously, I’m a Mets fan. Those are my four any time they are pitching I’m tuned in, just because I grew up watching them and sometimes being around some of them because my dad [Donavan Mitchell Sr. Director of Player Relations and Community Engagement for the New York Mets] ended up coaching them. So it’s cool to see them on this stage and on the next level.
Anderson: What are your thoughts on Amed Rosario moving up and how do you see his career playing out?
Mitchell: I actually just found out about him today, but just watching him at batting practice he has a lot pop off his swing. Just hitting in batting practice you can see he has an effortless swing. But I’m hoping for the best for him as someone who is coming up in the NBA, making your moment count that’s all that matters.
Anderson: You were drafted in the 1st round this year, heading to Utah where your filling a void where Gordon Hayward is leaving, what has been the biggest learning curve for you?
Mitchell: Taking care of your body is big, it’s a long season. You know summer league games are in a short amount of time, make sure that you are getting you rest, making sure you’re a pro its different from being a college athlete.
Anderson: I hear that you have a nickname “Spida” how did you get it?
Mitchell: Growing up I used to get a lot of steals and I had quick reflexes so my friend’s dad kept calling me “Spida” my whole life.
Anderson: Going into the season any specific goals you want to accomplish?
Mitchell: Just make my presence felt, just go out there and know what I can do. Don’t try to overdo it, don’t try be I’m trying to be someone I’m not, just go out there and play my game.