Donovan Mitchell wins home run derby event, jokingly compares himself to Shohei Ohtani

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Donovan Mitchell has shown that he is an NBA star with the Cleveland Cavaliers, but if the Cleveland Guardians ever need a hand, they may want to keep the 26-year-old in mind.

Mitchell showed off his batting skills by mashing softballs at a charity event hosted by Cleveland Browns player Greg Newsome II. The Cavs standout won the event’s home run derby and also hit a two-run homer in his first at-bat of the actual game.

Mitchell’s prowess on the diamond isn’t a huge surprise. He has long proclaimed his devotion as a New York Mets fan and recently caught the first pitch from St. John’s University coach Rick Pitino prior to a Subway Series game against the New York Yankees at Citi Field. Mitchell also is scheduled to be part of the 2023 MLB Celebrity Softball Game on July 8.

Despite Mitchell’s recent efforts, it would be very difficult for him to get his baseball skills to match his abilities on the basketball court. This past season, his first in Cleveland, was one of the best of his NBA career, with head coach J.B. Bickerstaff saying he was one of the five best players in the league throughout the year.

Mitchell himself said he should have been All-NBA First Team after leading the Cavs to 51 regular season wins and their first playoff appearance since 2018. Though the season ended with a disappointing series loss to the New York Knicks in the first round of the playoffs, Cleveland has a lot of reasons for optimism going forward.

Darius Garland proved to be an excellent backcourt mate with Mitchell, and Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are two quality big men who are still young. Cleveland also added Emoni Bates with the No. 49 pick in the 2023 NBA Draft, and one player called the 19-year-old the best player in the draft.

The Guardians, for their part, are contending for first place in the American League Central as they try to win the World Series for the first time since 1948. Perhaps some of Mitchell’s good fortune can rub off, whether he ever suits up for the Guardians or not.

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Mike is a veteran journalist who has covered the NBA for almost three decades. One of his favorite sports memories is the Cavaliers-Nets playoff series from 1993.