DRAFT VIDEO: Derek Campbell
California utility man Derek Campbell is a bargain for the Philadelphia Phillies in the 20th round, with the 592nd pick. Campbell has played four positions for the Golden Bears – left field, center field, second base and shortstop – and has played all of them well.
Campbell is not possessed of blazing speed, but he is an above-average runner with plus athleticism who played wide receiver at Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei. At 6-foot, 183 pounds Campbell put on over 10 pounds of muscle during the last offseason, and even with adding that much bulk, he hasn't lost any flexibility or range.
In 2012 and 2013, Campbell showed some wildness with his throws from shortstop, and while he has a strong arm, it can, at times, be inaccurate. Since the Phillies took Campbell as a second baseman, that shouldn't come into the equation, and to be honest, second base is probably Campbell's best position, though he has always considered himself a shortstop.
The first time Campbell saw significant time at second base was during the 2011 Super Regional against Dallas Baptist and in the College World Series for three games, where he filled in not only ably for reigning Pac-10 Player of the Year (and 2012 second-round draft pick) Tony Renda, but was actually a defensive upgrade.
Campbell didn't make an error this season at second base, and it's a position that allows him to use his athleticism and range, while letting him bulk up a bit to improve his power numbers, which is something he did between missing the 2013 season with a broken leg and the start of the 2014 season.
At the plate, Campbell makes solid contact, but thus far hasn't shown an ability to hit for a very high average. But, he does show flashes of plus bat control and has shown that he has within him the ability to go to the plate with a plan in mind. He's a good two-strike hitter who can shorten up and drive the ball the other way, though he hasn't shown a whole lot of power to the opposite field. He has a very upright stance which at times leads to him changing his eye level during a swing, but he can really leverage his height and long levers into putting a charge into a ball.
Overall, Campbell is a superior athlete who can play five different positions, can hit for some power and can drive the ball to all fields.
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