See you guys at game time. Good night.
Talking with numerous baseball scouts, it’s become a unanimously accepted fact that the Yankees picked up a terrific young arm in Jose Campos when they traded Jesus Montero to the Seattle Mariners. Campos, 19, is full of promise at a young age. Last season, Campos started 14 games with the A- Everett Aquasox and went 5-5 with a 2.32 ERA. At just 19, posting a 6.54 SO/BB ratio was a highly impressive feat. He struck out 85 hitters and walked just 13 in 81.1 innings of action, pitching to a 0.971 WHIP. One Mariners scout told me, “he was a bulldog on the mound and pitched more like a AAA arm with experience.”
Campos has been a pitcher since he was just eight years old and knew it was his ticket to the majors at a young age. The same scout said, “he is constantly working on improvements, most 19 year olds would not have this level of immaturity but this kid wants to be in the majors and be another Felix Hernandez. Heck, even Felix wasn’t this mature at his age.” Campos, who struggled with his control in the Venezuela Summer League, slowly fine-tuned his control and honed his fastball command to pitch a marvelous 2011 season in A- ball.
His scouting report is full of positive remarks. His upside is a higher than former Yankee Hector Noesi who also went in the deal for Michael Pineda. Campos, at 6’4” and 195 pounds, has a very projectable frame that has few worries attached to it. That’s one of the bigger concerns with Manny Banuelos, on whether his 5'11" frame will hinder his durability on the mound as a major league starter. Campos fastball sits at 92 to 95 MPH and he has a tendency to rev up the MPH when he needs a big out. A scout who covers the PCL told me, “his fastball is already a plus pitch because he has so much feel on the pitch. Locates it with precision and it will only improve.” Hitters struggle to make good barrel to ball contact on his fastball as it’s described as “heavy.” A heavy fastball with good command is an excellent starting point for any young pitcher.
Campos slider has the potential to be a plus pitch, sitting anywhere from 83 to 85MPH. The late movement on the slider keeps hitters off balance and it’s his best swing and miss pitch. His slider is very deceptive and utilizes this pitch in good situations. His curveball and changeup are a bit rawer; however both pitches are described by scouts as having “plus potential.” His curveball has a 12-6 break (72-75 MPH) but the movement isn’t very deceptive as of now for it to have success in the majors. However, with his plus fastball and good slider, his curveball will still be a good change of pace offering to keep hitters guessing. Expect Campos to hone the art of the curve over the next few years of development. He keeps his arm slot well and that will help him develop his pitches in the Yankees system.
From the scouting tapes, Campos has markedly improved his landing and his mechanics since he was drafted. His landing was a major concern and caused most of his control issues but that’s been corrected. He gets a good stride to home along with simple, repeatable mechanics. He has “easy” velocity and there aren’t any concerns in regard to hyper abduction or inverted W arm positioning (which everyone is so gravely worried about nowadays). The concerns regarding mechanics are very few and for the most part his mechanics are good enough to be left alone.
My overall report on Campos is that he is a highly talented right hander that instantly slots into the top 10 prospects within the Yankees farm system. One scout said it best, “he may be better than Pineda, Noesi or Montero.”