Scouting Yankees Prospect #7: Jose Campos

The New York Yankees acquired right-handed pitcher Jose Campos from the Seattle Mariners last offseason in the Michael Pineda-Jesus Montero trade. Another potential high impact arm, he immediately proved why the Yankees wanted him in the trade but then succumbed to a nagging elbow injury that limited his time in 2012.

Vital Statistics:
Name: Jose Campos
Position: Pitcher
DOB: July 27, 1992
Height: 6'4"
Weight: 195
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

"I started off great and I wanted to show the organization that I'm a very good pitcher and what talent that I have," Campos said through the help of a translator. "I wanted to help the organization and I just felt bad about how everything came about.

"I threw a little bit through pain because I wanted to impress the Yankees and show them the kind of talent that I have but I had to stop."

Campos was flat out dominant from the moment he put on the Yankee uniform, mowing down batters easily in Spring Training before getting off to a 3-0, 1.80 ERA start in his first three games with the RiverDogs that saw him give up a grand total of five hits and strike out 18 batters in his first 16 innings.

"He's very good; easy velocity, it gets on hitters," said Mark Newman, Yankees senior vice president in charge of scouting and player development. "His breaking ball is better than I had anticipated. He still has work to do on the change but the delivery is good, the arm action is excellent. He's pretty good."

When the trade went down last offseason and it was learned Campos had been included in the deal, the word in the scouting community was that he was a raw power arm but had a lot of to work to do throwing strikes and commanding his secondary pitches.

"He's not at all that," Newman added. "For a young Latin kid, for [any] young kid, he's got a really good delivery and a really good feel for where the ball is going."

Still, he tweaked his elbow four starts into his Yankee career and left for the remainder of the season during his fifth start.

"I understand now that there are some pains where you'll feel tired throughout where you can pitch through that, but the feeling I was feeling before [being shut down] wasn't something I should have pitched through," Campos admitted.

"I should have come out quicker and let the Yankees know that I was hurting. That's something I've learned through all this, to differentiate a severe pain or something that's going to hurt me from just the regular day to day aches."

By all accounts he should be ready for the start of the 2013 season and while he still has some work to do developmentally with his changeup, team insiders can't help but be a little excited about another one of their high-end hurlers.

"He's a very young kid, he's only [20] but he knows what he's doing on the mound," Charleston manager Carlos Mendoza said. "He knows how to pitch. He knows how to mix up his pitches and keep hitters off balance.

"He attacks the hitter with the fastball. Most of the time he's ahead of hitters and then he can go to his secondary pitches and work with them. The command has been great."





























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Repertoire. Fastball, Curveball, Changeup.

Fastball. Campos has a plus fastball that he throws exceptionally well from a good downhill plane with command. It will sit anywhere from 91-96 mph over the course of a game with the lower velocity coming in the first inning or so and once he's stretched he will sit mostly in the 93-95 mph range. More than the sheer velocity though is the ease of motion in which he throws his heater; it comes out of his hand like a batting practice fastball effort-wise and just explodes through the zone.

Other Pitches. Prior to joining the Yankees the word was his changeup was his best secondary pitch and that was really not the case at all. His best secondary offering is an above average curveball with long-term plus potential. It sits in the 82-84 mph range with more 11 to 5 action than an over the head hammer, but he commands it very well too. His changeup is more average at best right now, showing decent fade and depth, and he can throw it for strikes, but the command of it isn't quite there yet. It has long-term above average potential once the command and more consistent fade come along.

Pitching. Campos is a bit of rarity, a power pitcher who employs an effortless motion, throws strikes, consistently works ahead of hitters in counts, and it not afraid to pitch to contact. The basis of his go get'em approach his his stoic demeanor on the mound -- he has the same body language when he's down by four runs as when he's up by several. He just doesn't get rattled at all. Physically well built and strong, he is actually quite athletic too and that helps him maintain consistent mechanics and field his position well.

Projection. Even keeping his elbow issues in mind, Campos has a plus big league arm but more than anything it's his plus-plus makeup and mentality that ties it all together. With a plus fastball and what will most likely be a plus curveball in due time, with his innate strike-throwing ability, he has potential frontline starting stuff. The changeup will need to become a more consistent weapon for that kind of potential to materialize, but few question his ability to do that with his strong work ethic. He just needs to stay healthy, keep getting his innings, and continue working on his craft as there are surprisingly few weaknesses in his game despite his lack of experience.

ETA. 2015. Should Campos begin the year as healthy as expected, he should open up back in low-A Charleston to begin the 2013 season and if he remains healthy there's a good chance he could see some significant time in high-A Tampa later in the year.

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