Mets Minors: Eric Campbell Is The Forgotten Man
In some ways, he could be called the forgotten Met prospect. With all the excitement of a young cadre of minor league pitchers, the yet unfulfilled promise of catching phenom Travis d’Arnaud, and the dizzying AA offensive numbers Cesar Puello is racking up in Binghamton, it is easy to get immersed into their storylines and bypass some others. All the while, Eric Campbell is putting together a decent season under the radar in Las Vegas as the forgotten man.
Eric who? Eric Campbell, a 6’2, 230 pound utility infielder/outfielder, had a bounce back season in Binghamton last summer. A 2008 eighth round draft pick out of Boston College (finished his sophomore season in 2007 as the team leader in eight different offensive categories) was the B-Met offensive player of the year and the MVP of the 2012 Eastern League All-Star game. Campbell hit .297 last year in Binghamton with 9 HRs and 50 RBIs.
A solid contact hitter, Campbell was promoted to AAA Las Vegas and has been to the plate 119 times this year, sporting a .293 batting average with 6 home runs and 28 RBI’s. Campbell has a good eye at the plate, walking 18 times against only 25 strikeouts so far this season. Campbell provides a solid replacement at several positions. He’s found playing time for the 51s at first base, third base and in left field. Campbell, a right-handed batter, hits lefties well, batting .377 against southpaws so far. The 51′s utility man holds a .392 on-base-percentage.
Like every minor leaguer, Campbell has his sights set on reaching the major leagues some day. In a piece published by “The Day,” Campbell tells Vickie Fulkerson, “There are days when you wonder if its the right career path, but it’s definitely been worth it. That’s why I’m doing it. Nobody signs up for this to play in Triple-A. You just hope you stay healthy and keep producing,”
For Campbell, it’s all a matter of being ready when you get your chance. As a utility player, that means much of his efforts are focused on being prepared. “You really just do the same thing every day,” he told Fulkerson. “If you do, and an 0-for-10 shouldn’t really bother you. You have some 400-500 at bats to turn it around. You spend a little more time in the cage. You have to have confidence. If any type of doubt creeps in, then you’re done. You have to believe in yourself.”
About the Author: John Bernhardt
John Bernhardt is a retired public school teacher and administrator, who still coaches high school baseball. Growing up in a Yankees household, Bernhardt was an ardent Mickey Mantle and Yogi Berra fan. When the Yankees fired Yogi in his first season as the Bomber manager, curiosity turned to passion when the Mets signed Berra as a player/coach and he has pulled for the Mets ever since. In retirement, John writes the sports for a local weekly, The Catskill Mountain News and hosts Tip-Off, a Friday morning sports hour, from 8:00-9:00 on WIOX, 91.3 F.M.
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