The Seattle Mariners helped wrap up their day 1 haul of the 2019 MLB Draft, selecting Isaiah Campbell from the University of Arkansas with the 76th overall pick of the 2019 MLB Draft.
The selection of Campbell gave the Mariners 3 new college arms to dream on, with rounds 4-40 coming in the next two days. Like their first two picks, Campbell may give the organization more floor than ceiling, but the pick is an excellent value in round 2.
Campbell has one of the coolest stories of any draft prospect. He was born in Portugal and if he can make it to the big leagues, he will be the first player born in Portugal since 1875 to do it. He is also a self-described analytics nerd who originally wanted to become a biochemistry major.
On the mound, Campbell features an above-average heater that sits 92-95 and he has touched 97 on occasion. His best off-speed pitch is his slider, which some scouts expect to become a plus offering.
He has a get me over curveball and ditched his traditional changeup last season for a split-change which has a chance to be above-average as well. He is more of a control guy now, but the command should be at least MLB average going forward.
He has solid size, standing at 6’4″, 225 lbs but maintains above-average athleticism with a sound delivery he can repeat. If the changeup continues to come along, Campbell has #3 starter upside. If worst comes to worst, a tweak to his delivery could jump his heater to 95-98 mph, which combined with his slider, makes him a high-leverage reliever.
The Mariners are diving head deep into analytics, particularly in regards to the development of pitchers. Campbell’s eagerness to learn and willingness to try new ideas is a major plus for him. At Arkansas, he posted 97 strikeouts and 15 walks in just 90 innings.
Campbell is likely going to sign for slot value, giving the Mariners more flexibility to work their draft board tomorrow. Everything is still on the table for Seattle, but time is running out if they want to make a splashy prep player selection.