Catching up with Michael Campbell

Where are they now? South Carolina continues to be a perennial power house in college baseball. While there are some current players making big noise this preseason, let's take a look at the progress and success that former Gamecocks are having at the next level, beginning with Michael Campbell.

Michael Campbell has spent the last year playing in the San Diego Padres farm system and has enjoyed every bit of it. Campbell was part of the 2006 draft in which the Padres took him in the 20th round. When asked what is missed the most about playing college ball he relayed the differences.

"Going from college to the minors is a big difference. The fans and atmosphere are completely different. When you are playing college ball everybody is working together as a team to achieve a common goal. In the pros it's different, you can go 4 for 4 and your team may still lose but you are the happiest guy on the field because of your success."

Campbell started out playing rookie ball for the Peoria Padres in the Arizona league. After just six games he was moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana to play low single A ball for the Fort Wayne Wizards. The final move of his first year landed him in Eugene, Oregon where he started at centerfield. He is projected to start the season in Eugene, however he may get moved to Lake Elsinore, CA to play high single A ball for the Lake Elsinore Storm. In the off-season Michael has been working out extensively with fellow teammate Michael Johnson (former Clemson standout).

"I have been working out and lifting six days a week and running about two miles to stay in shape and get ready for the next season. I hope to move and stay in Lake Elsinore most of the year and hope to be in San Antonio playing double A ball by the end of the season."

In his first year in the minors Campbell hit .286 with 6 homeruns and 29 RBI in 176 at bats. Spring training will start on March 10th for the Padres farm system. The new rosters will post on April 1st and Michael will start playing games on April 5th.

"It would really be great to start out playing for Lake Elsinore but I won't know anything until the rosters post after spring training."

When asked to look back at his career at South Carolina, Campbell stated. "Playing for South Carolina and coach Ray Tanner is an experience that I never regret, I got to play in two College World Series. This is great program and a great coaching staff."

We wish Mike the best of luck this year!

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