Down the road …

When Spring Training ends, infielder Scott Campbell won’t be heading north with the Toronto Blue Jays. But that doesn’t mean he’s not using the next few weeks to show manager Cito Gaston and Co. what he can do — both at the plate and in the field. Take Thursday afternoon, for example. With the bases loaded in the eighth, the 24-year-old ripped a three-run double to help the Jays to a 6-2 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Campbell’s story is an interesting one. First of all, he became the first New Zealand-born player ever to be drafted by a Major League club when the Blue Jays took him in the 10th round (300th overall) in 2006. The following year at Class-A Lansing, he hit .279/.390/.397 with seven home runs and 43 RBIs in 107 games. He also managed an impressive walk-to-strikeout ratio (68/56), especially for a young player. Campbell continued to hit well in 2008, finishing with a .302 (126-for-417) batting average with nine homers and 46 RBIs in 112 contests for the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Last year he also had the honour of being a member of the World team at the All-Star Futures Game in July. As a result of his success over the past two years, he has become a legitimate prospect within the Blue Jays organization. It’s likely he’ll start the season at Triple-A, but look for Campbell to make the jump to the big leagues in the near future …

Check out a good Q & A with Campbell by MiLB.com’s Lisa Winston …

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4 Responses to “Down the road …”

  1. Jay B Says:

    good write up…

    i’ve heard that they intend to move him to 3rd before he reaches the bigs…any idea if there’s any truth to this, and if so, why would they be thinking that when they have scott rolen under contract through next season, and an obvious hole at short?

  2. TD Says:

    You know, the Jays would love to move Rolen (his contract will make it hard). As a sidenote, what a terrible contract that was. Anyways, they did play Campbell at third the other day, and that’s a position they had him playing in the Arizona Fall League as well. But prior to that, he had played second base almost exclusively. And when you do that, it is difficult to make the transition to shortstop. You get too comfortable with the short throw (which affects both general arm strength and range). I know, you’re going to say, ‘well, these guys are major-leaguers’, but man if you can show me a guy who played second for a number of years and made a successful transition to shortstop in the big leagues, I want to hear about it.

  3. Jay B Says:

    i’ll take your word for it, with you being the former player and all, but how does that explain moving him to the furthest corner of the diamond?

    but ya, i heard an interview with ricciardi and they said that it was the clearest path to the majors for him, since 2nd base is locked down for the foreseeable future, and after next yr, 3rd base is basically up for grabs…

    but don’t hate on JP for the rolen contract, the cards gave him that one…

  4. TD Says:

    I just can’t believe how he was given such a big contract AFTER having the dislocated shoulder. Man, you need to see some solid recovery from an injury like that before you shell out the money for a ‘power-hitting’ third baseman.

    As for Campbell, yeah, a big issue is range. If you want to play shortstop in the big leagues, you’ve got to be playing it full time in the pros for awhile. That transition from second is tough. I think Aaron Hill could do it, but I’m glad J.P. finally stopped talking about that move. Hill is much better at second and, like you said, he’ll be there for a long time.

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