Scouting Report: 2B Scott Campbell

Scouting Report: 2B Scott Campbell

In the 10th round of this year's draft the Blue Jays selected an infielder from Gonzaga University, but his roots were far from ordinary. Campbell, who is from New Zealand, is trying to prove himself in professional baseball after having a successful collegiate career. In his first season in professional baseball, Campbell was a NY-Penn League All-Star and put himself on the prospect map.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Scott Campbell
Position: Infielder
DOB: September 25, 1984
Height: 5'11
Weight: 190
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Campbell, a line-drive hitter who is viewed as a player that will get dirty and do the little things to get his team the victory, began his freshman year at Central Arizona Community College and after being named as an All-American he transferred to Gonzaga, who was looking for a second baseman at the time.

At the time of the draft, Campbell was in New Zealand and many thought he would have a tough time coming over to the United States because of potential visa problems, however, the Blue Jays administrative staff did a terrific job in making sure they hade enough visas early in the process.

"We have an outstanding administrative staff that works here and they really looked into this process," Jays Scotuing Director Jon Lalonde said. "They went ahead and made sure we had some visas available. We requested them long ago, to make sure we send them out once we selected players that would require them."

Campbell batted .292 in 68 games for the Auburn Doubledays while showing his versatility both on offense and on defense. Not only did the 21-year-old play multiple positions on the diamond, but he was often asked to bat in different spots in the lineup, and handled both tasks well.

Campbell saw most of his time in the leadoff spot for the Doubledays, but also played 15 games as the clubs three-hole hitter, five games in the two-hole, four games batting seventh and eighth, and two games batting sixth. Defensively, he saw the majority of his playing time at second base, but also slid over to third on a few occasions.

Scouts project Campbell to be a future leadoff hitter because of his outstanding eye at the plate. While playing for Gonzaga Campbell was known for his outstanding awareness of the strike zone and he continued that this season. In 240 at bats, Campbell struck out just 31 times, while drawing 33 walks.

The 5'11, 190 pound infielder had two flaws in his game this past season. The first were his 13 errors on the field, and the other was his inability to hit southpaws. Campbell batted just .208 in forty-eight at bats against left-handed pitchers, while dominating right-handers for a .314 mark.

"I wouldn't worry a lot about his errors this season," noted one scouting director who had Campbell on his draft list. "He is a solid fielding infielder. Although I didn't watch him play in pro ball this year, I would think he was trying to get use to the speed of the game at this level."

Doubledays manager Dennis Holmberg rewarded Campbell for his outstanding play this season by naming him the Most Valuable Player on the team.

"To me, the MVP should go to everyday players, and Campbell was the guy who started and finished the season, played two and a half months. He made the all-star team and where would we have been without him?" Holmberg said.

Batting and Power: Campbell does not possess much power although he has a compact swing which scouts adore. Talent evaluators have a tough time finding a tool that sticks out for Campbell, but his ability to put the ball in play and hit for average could be key down the road. He has an outstanding awareness of the strike zone, and succeeds in making contact with the ball.

Base Running and Speed: Campbell has above-average speed, but he was thrown out in 10 of his 12 stolen base attempts. The bottom line is Campbell needs to make better reads and work on his stealing mechanics. Even though he possesses solid speed, it doesn't mean it's automatic that he will steal bases.

Defense: The infielder is a solid defender but talent evaluators still will tell you he needs to work on his mechanics, and footwork at second base. Campbell did spend some time at third base this past season, but most scouts believe his future will be at second base as he progresses in the minors.

2007 Outlook: Campbell will begin the year with Single-A Lansing. Talent evaluators do believe he's polished enough as a hitter to move onto Dunedin around June.

ETA: The 22-year-old should progress at about a level and year, which puts his timetable around 2010.

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