Rangers Prospect Mitch Bratt Discusses the Arizona Fall League

Texas Rangers prospect Mitch Bratt discusses the 2023 season and his experience in the Arizona Fall League to finish out the year.

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MARCH 13: Mitch Bratt #28 of Canada delivers a pitch against the United States during a World Baseball Classic Pool C game at Chase Field on March 13, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

The 2023 season was one that really opened doors for left-hander Mitch Bratt. A product of Newmarket, Ontario, Bratt started the year with Team Canada at the World Baseball Classic and got the nod to start against a stacked Team USA during round robin play.

At just 19 years old, the Canadian faced a lineup full of All-Stars and future Hall of Famers and gained the respect of baseball fans across the globe for going out and facing such tough competition, albeit to results that did not bode in his favor.

Following his WBC results, Bratt rejoined the Texas Rangers organization and embarked on his third professional season, pitching in High-A with the Hickory Crawdads. He made 16 starts on the year and put up a 3.54 ERA, while battling injuries towards the middle of June which kept him sidelined until the start of September. With only 61 innings under his belt, the Rangers sent Bratt to the Arizona Fall League to round out the 2023 season.

Rangers prospect Mitch Bratt discusses the Arizona Fall League

“The Arizona Fall League was such a cool experience,” Bratt said. “To be on a team full of Canadians and get to pitch in a different environment was incredibly cool. You go from playing in season and looking for a postseason spot and then you go to the Arizona Fall League to face some tough hitters and get some work in to get better.”

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With the Surprise Saguaros, the southpaw appeared in six games (one start) and put forward a 6.46 ERA through 15 1/3 innings with 17 strikeouts. With the Saguaros, Bratt and his teammates secured the championship with a 6-5 win over the Peoria Javelinas, making Surprise back-to-back champions in the Fall League.

By participating in the AFL, Bratt had to adjust his offseason schedule to the demands of pitching deeper into what would be a normal offseason.

“It has been a shorter offseason with the Fall League, and it was weird because it was less time off but more time on because of pitching in game scenarios,” said Bratt.

“At the end of the year, usually you have some time off from throwing but with this opportunity I had to ramp right back up. I ended up revamping some mechanical cues that I wanted to fix in season but I was able to hone in on those after the Fall League with Spring Training right around the corner.”

When healthy last year, Bratt put forward strong numbers on the Crawdads.

Through his 16 starts, the 6-foot-1 lefty struck out 73 batters (10.8 K/9) while reducing the free passes to a 2.5 BB/9 mark, the lowest in his professional career. He finished the campaign with a 1.262 WHIP and is poised for another strong season as the Rangers #17th ranked prospect with a plus fastball that rides well and the ability to adapt in game.

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Pitching against players that average almost 4-5 years older, Bratt put forward strong numbers that have scouts believing a career in the rotation is on the horizon as he continues to work his way up the Minor Leagues.

Looking ahead, he has his sights set on a new goal for the 2024 season, “I want to throw 100+ innings next season.” Bratt explained.

“I have missed some time on the injured list over the past two seasons and I just want to stay healthy and throw as many innings as I can at whatever level the Rangers have me pitch in.”

Ranked at #5 on Canadian prospects to watch out for in 2024 via Scott Mitchell at TSN, Bratt should feature in Double-A for the Rangers this year.