MLB Draft Profile: Justin Campbellby Rephael Negnewitzky July 13, 2022 0 comments
The MLB Draft is within shouting distance as we take a glance at a towering right-hander out of Oklahoma State. Justin Campbell, a former 18th-round pick by the Astros, has surfaced as a top pitching prospect in the 2022 MLB Draft. A graduate of Simi Valley High School in California where he rehearsed both pitching and hitting as a Pioneer. Although, when Campbell reached the collegiate level, the focus was on his pitching abilities yet his bat was still a factor from the left side.
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Justin Campbell, RHP, Oklahoma State
Weight: 219 lbs.
2021 Stats: 14 G, 13 GS, 84 IP, 7-2, 2.57 ERA, 1.107 WHIP, 27 BB, 102 SO
2022 Stats: 17 G, 16 GS, 101.1 IP, 9-2, 3.82 ERA, 1.066 WHIP, 25 BB, 141 SO
There is no current graduate of Simi Valley High School that plays for a major league team. Aside from Bryan Anderson (Cardinals) and Jered Weaver (Angels), Simi Valley hasn’t produced too many major leaguers over the past decade. A two-way star throughout his baseball career, the California native intends to break the silence from his hometown school. He was listed as a finalist for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award as well as an honorary All-American Second Team from Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game/Rawlings. Additionally, the 21-year-old tossed a 99-pitch no-hitter against Kansas in his 2021 rookie campaign.
The clear upside to Campbell’s profile is his pure athleticism on the mound and at the plate. His 6-foot-7 stature is overwhelming to opponents which allows Campbell to jump right into his four-slot repertoire. His offspeed pitches prove to be most effective against hitters and a low-90s fastball that dots the corners. An upper-70s changeup and mid-70s curveball work best to induce the swing-and-miss and a low-80s slider could be a plus in the near future. The right-hander operates at a three-quarter delivery and has an impressive command of the zone. Allowing just 25 walks with 141 strikeouts which ranked him seventh in the NCAA in 2022.
The Oklahoma State graduate has mid-level stuff and needs to smooth out a few bumps in order to succeed at a high level. His four-seamer needs to pick up the pace and his curveball could use an upgrade. Not to mention, Campbell allowed 15 long balls in 2022 which could be a red flag to major league teams. While he did put away 141 batters by way of the strikeout, Campbell’s numbers took a beating compared to his 2021 season. Allowing 24 earned runs in 2021 compared to 43 in 2022, the 21-year-old did not perform like his true self.
Pro Comparison: Tyler Wells
With a similar stature as well as a comparable arsenal, Wells is the perfect match. Standing at 6-foot-8, the Orioles’ star is a piece of work. His fastball sits in the low-90s and his slider and changeup operate in the high-90s. Although Wells smacks the catcher’s mitt a drop harder, Campbell is likely to develop into a similar caliber.
Draft Projection: Early to Mid-Second Round
The draft is loaded with high-end talent and Campbell fits right into the mix. A late-first-round selection isn’t out of the picture but the second round is ideal for the slim right-hander. It’s unclear, but the youngster will likely hear his name called in the early goings of the second round.
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