1B/3B/LF Eric Campbell was promoted from St. Lucie to Binghamton Saturday. The 23-year old Campbell has been one of the most pleasant surprises in the Mets system this season. He was hitting .336/.415/.524 in 143 AB with thirteen doubles, a triple, four homers in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Impressively, he’d walked as much as he’d struck out, an identical 17 times (10%). He’s been getting better too, starting with a .262/.368/.446 April with six extra base hits and a .397/.455/.590 May with 12 extra-base knocks. At the time he was promoted, he was 7th in the league in batting, fourth in OPS and fourth in slugging.
Campbell has played three (1B/3B/LF) of the four corners of the field in St. Lucie. With Binghamton, Nick Evans plays first most days, Zach Lutz plays third, but LF Lucas Duda is currently on the DL with a hamstring injury, so Campbell should be in left most days until Duda returns. However, Campbell is playing third for the B-Mets in place of Lutz on Saturday night. Once Duda’s back, there should be enough AB for everyone if Campbell moves through all of the positions and each of the four guys DHs once a week or so. Campbell’s a pretty big guy, listed at 6’3″ and 220lbs, and he might be bigger than that, yet he moves well for his size. (For comparison’s sake, David Wright is listed at 6’0″ 210 and Jason Bay is listed at 6’2″, 205.) I remember seeing Campbell’s first games in LF as a professional in 2008 and was impressed by how well he was covered ground in his new surroundings. Total zone rating has him right around average defensively at first, third and left. As you might suspect, infielders who are average in a-ball become below average defensively by the time they reach the big leagues. However, in the outfield the effect is not as pronounced: it turns out that average outfielders in the minors become average in the big leagues and above average average guys in the minors become plus in the bigs.
Campbell spent most of last year with Savannah, where he hit .248/.347/.360 in a season in which injuries held him to just 102 games total. He showed the same good strike zone control he’s displayed this year (48 BB/57 K – 339 AB) without the power (.112 ISO). This year with health, he’s driving the ball.