Scouting Report: Isaiah Campbell reportedly called up to Mariners active roster
Pitching prospect Isaiah Campbell is reportedly joining the Mariners in Houston this weekend, so what should we expect from him?
(Ken Lambert/Seattle Times)
Nearly four years after being selected in the second round of the MLB Draft, Isaiah Campbell has finally arrived in the big leagues. According to multiple sources not affiliated with the Mariners, Campbell is set to join the active roster to make his MLB debut against the Houston Astros.
He will likely take Tommy Milone’s spot on the active roster until at least the All-Star break. The 25-year-old joins the Mariners after posting a 2.63 ERA in 24 innings for the Arkansas Travelers this season.
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Campbell was selected 76th overall in the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Arkansas. The hope was that the big right-hander could develop into a starter with power stuff, but he could not stay healthy over several years in the minors. Seattle and Campbell mutually decided that the fewer innings he threw the more impactful he could be, and he immediately shifted to the bullpen last year.
Standing at 6-4 and 230 pounds, Campbell is a massive human being with power offerings. His fastball sits 92-96 and can touch 98, with plenty of life. He offers plenty of sink and arm side run on the heater, making it a difficult pitch to square up.
He also throws a slider and a curveball, with the slider being the better of the two. His slider is sharp, and he should be able to get big league hitters out with just the fastball and slider. He should be able to miss plenty of bats, as he has posted a K/9 above 10 this season.
I got a chance to watch Campbell in a few outings in Spring, and unfortunately, he got roughed up quite a bit. He struggled big time against the White Sox, an outing where both his velocity was down and his slider completely flattened out.
Campbell’s addition over Prelander Berroa is a bit surprising. My guess is that they want to reward Campbell and see what he has, especially because they could move several of their rental bullpen pieces even if they aren’t sellers.
Players like Justin Topa, Gabe Speier, and more could be on the move this month, and it is beneficial for Seattle to get a look at some of the talented relievers they have on the farm. Berroa has been awfully good as of late, and it seems very surprising he hasn’t debuted yet.
I do however believe in Campbell quite a bit. I think there is a possibility he could be a high-leverage reliever, although I think a good middle reliever is the likely outcome. I think he has a higher ceiling than Ty Adcock and Juan Then, but health is always a concern.
Campbell is a fun guy to root for because of all the injuries he has been through, and many loved watching him pitch in the College World Series for the Razorbacks. This is another fun addition to the Mariners’ pitching staff. It will be worth monitoring what Seattle chooses to do with their bullpen over the next month or so.