Russell Lance Mitchell
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 205 lb.
- High School Cartersville High School
- Debut September 8, 2010
- Final Game September 24, 2011
- Born February 15, 1985 in Rome, GA USA
Russ Mitchell made his big league debut in 2010.
Mitchell fell to the 15th round of the 2003 amateur draft before the Los Angeles Dodgers took him; he was not their last draftee that year who wound up in the bigs as Travis Denker (21st round) and Andy LaRoche (39th round) also got there. Russ had a good pro debut, hitting .338/.441/.506 for the GCL Dodgers. Had he qualified, he would have ranked fourth in the Gulf Coast League in average and fourth in OBP.
That kind of performance earned Russ increased playing time the next year but he bombed with the Vero Beach Dodgers (.249/.278/.308 in 46 G) and Columbus Catfish (.201/.257/.268 in 63 G). Combined, he failed to homer in 109 games and drove in just 31. He had as many errors (14) at third base as he did walks. In 2005, Mitchell split time between Vero Beach (10 for 33, double, homer, 2 walks), the Jacksonville Suns (1 for 5, double, four K) and the Ogden Raptors (.289/.358/.511, 54 R, 54 RBI, 14 HR in 69 G). He led the Pioneer League in RBI, in putouts at third base (52) and in double play grounders (14). He was named the All-Star third baseman. He also tied for second in homers, two behind leader Chris Cook. Baseball America did not put him on their top 20 prospect list for the league.
The Georgia native split time between Vero Beach (.277/.315/.518 in 22 G) and Columbus (.239/.288/.425, 32 doubles, 15 homers, 75 RBI, .938 fielding at third). He tied Delwyn Young for the most extra-base hits (61) by a Dodgers minor leaguer. In 2007, Mitchell played for the Inland Empire 66ers and batted .270/.324/.488 with 32 doubles, 22 home runs, 81 runs, 82 RBI and 126 strikeouts. He was four homers behind California League leader Tommy Everidge. He tied Adam Moore and Bubba Bell for 8th in the Cal League in dingers. Moving to first base, he fielded .992, leading the league's players at that position. He played for the West Oahu CaneFires that winter and hit .270. His 11 doubles tied for the Hawaii Winter League lead.
Mitchell hit .264/.323/.425 for the 2008 Suns, homering 16 times and driving in 75 three years (leading his team in the latter two departments) after his first appearance with the AA team. He fielded .938 at third and .997 at first. He started at third base in the Southern League All-Star Game. He played in the Arizona Fall League.
Returning to AA with the 2009 Chattanooga Lookouts, Russ batted .241/.298/.406 with 30 doubles. He appeared for the Peoria Javelinas that winter and hit .319 while slugging .606. He hit 10 doubles, tying Josh Bell for the Arizona Fall League lead. He won the league's Dernell Stenson Sportsmanship Award as well.
In 2010, Mitchell made it to AAA with the Albuquerque Isotopes and produced at a .315/.365/.535 rate with 38 doubles, 23 home runs, 97 runs and 87 RBI. He set personal highs in runs and homers and had his best slugging since his 2003 debut in rookie ball. He made the Pacific Coast League All-Star team at third base. He was fourth in the PCL in doubles (behind Trent Oeltjen, John Lindsey and Doug Deeds) and tied Brad Snyder and Corey Wimberly for second in runs (behind Mark Trumbo).
A September call-up to the big leagues, he hit 7th and started at first base in his debut. He struck out against fellow rookie Cory Luebke his first trip to the plate, then flew out. He also made an error before leaving in favor of pinch-hitter Jay Gibbons in the 8th.
He started his MLB career 0 for 14.