Name: Mitch Hickey
Born: Morgan Hill, California
Age: 22 (11/16/95)
Height/Weight: 6’0”/185 lbs.
School: University of California: San Diego
Mitch Hickey did not play baseball at Live Oak High School as a junior because he underwent Tommy John surgery. A year later, he was back on the field, but because of his injury and the limited innings he was allowed to throw, no MLB club nor Division I school showed interest, he initially attended the College of San Mateo. A few months later, Oregon State head coach Pat Casey called and recruited him to the school to fill the void left by the nine incoming recruits had been selected in the MLB Draft. As a freshman in 2015, he posted a 2.28 ERA in 27.2 innings, allowing 19 hits, walking 17, and striking out 21. As a sophomore in 2016, a back injury limited his playing time and effectiveness, and he ended up posting a 4.73 ERA in 13.0 innings, allowing 10 hits, walking 5, and striking out 8. In 2017, his final year there, barely got into any games, highlighting the depth of the Beavers’ rotation and bullpen. He posted a 4.91 ERA in 3.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, walking 3, and striking out 3. Hickey transferred from Oregon State to Division II school UC San Diego in order to receive more playing opportunities, and the right-hander was given plenty and made the most of them. Shifted into the Tritons’ starting rotation, where he served as their front-line starter for much of the season, he posted a 3.54 ERA in 76.1 innings, allowing 69 hits, walking 42, and striking out 83.
Always working from the stretch, Hickey throws from a high three-quarters arm slot, with a short, quick arm action. His fastball ranges anywhere from the high-80s to the mid-90s, with the pitch backing up as he goes deeper into games and loses stamina. The pitch has some arm side life, though when his velocity starts backing up, the movement on the pitch diminishes as well. He pairs his fastball with a slider, curveball, and changeup. The slider sits in the high-70s-to-low-80s and has tilt and late break. The curveball sits in the low-to-mid-70s and features 12-6 break with depth. Both pitches have the potential to be above-average pitches, but his lack of command of them diminish their effectiveness. Rounding out his arsenal is a changeup sits in the mid-to-low-80s.
Hickey’s poor command stems from an inability to repeat his release point. When he loses it, he generally is unable to make adjustments to get it back and slogs through outings until batters get themselves out.