Former Ravenscroft baseball standout Mitchell Stumpo '15 signed a free-agent contract with Major League Baseball's Arizona Diamondbacks in June and has since been assigned to their Pioneer League affiliate, the Missoula Osprey, in Missoula, Montana.
Stumpo, a right-handed pitcher for Guilford College in Greensboro and a two-time Second Team All-Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) honoree, graduated with a degree in business administration this spring. He spent the summer of 2018 pitching for the Coastal Plain League's Gastonia Grizzlies, earning a spot in the league's All-Star Game.
According to the Guilford Quakers' website, he caught the Diamondbacks' attention earlier this summer at the Indy Pro Showcase event in Florida, where he was clocked throwing at 96 miles per hour. He is Guilford's first MLB signee since Logan Collier in 2007.
"In college, I was always just a position player playing left field. I was messing around one day in front of my coach, throwing off the mound during practice, and ended up being a starting pitcher my junior year," Stumpo said of the evolution of his game. "My senior year I transitioned into a reliever, and now I find myself as a closer."
At Ravenscroft, Stumpo lettered three years for head baseball coach Jim Gibbons. He received the Coaches Award in 2013 and was the team MVP in 2015. He was voted to the Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference All-Conference team in 2015.
"In his time at Ravenscroft, Mitchell worked tirelessly year-round to improve his game," Gibbons said. "He battled back from injury just before his senior year and was our top performer."
In addition to his ODAC honors while at Guilford, Stumpo was a College Division All-State relief pitcher. He forged a 4-3 record with a team-leading three saves, a 4.89 earned run average and 80 strikeouts in 70.0 innings — leading the Quakers' regulars in wins, strikeouts, innings pitched and opponent's batting average (.250). His 80 strikeouts ranked third in the ODAC. As an outfielder for the Quakers, Stumpo concluded his career with a .300 batting average in 127 games.
A four-time member on Guilford's Student-Athlete Honor Roll, Stumpo was also recognized with a prestigious 2019 Nereus C. English Athletic Leadership Award, which denotes exceptional leadership both in the classroom and on the field. He said Ravenscroft prepared him well for the challenge of balancing rigorous academics with collegiate athletics.
"I was disciplined with my schoolwork and focused in the classroom. My education was always my priority," he said. "Being at Division III school with no athletic scholarship, I couldn't lean on playing baseball at the next level because I knew how difficult it would be to be recognized at such a small school. Now that I have graduated, I am relieved that I have a degree from a great school and, when baseball comes to an end, I will have my education to fall back on."
After signing with Arizona, Stumpo appeared in two games for the rookie-classified Arizona League Diamondbacks, totaling three strikeouts in two innings of work, before moving up to Missoula. With a week and a half left in the season, Stumpo has notched 11.1 innings, a 3.18 ERA, five saves, 14 strikeouts and a .154 opposing batting average.
"Being immersed in an environment like professional baseball is indescribable. Being able to do what I have always wanted do since I was kid is a blessing I didn't think possible until now," Stumpo said. "Throwing in my first professional game was such a rush, and recording my first career save for Missoula is one of my greatest memories thus far. I love being surrounded by great teammates with the same dreams and aspirations. It makes for a great atmosphere day in and day out."
"Ravenscroft could not be happier for Mitchell, his parents Ron and Denise, and their family," Gibbons said. "He is a great young man who has invested in himself, and he is being rewarded with this opportunity."