If I would’ve written this article a week ago, you would’ve felt a lot better about Campbell. It’s the difficulty with finding that sweet spot to post stuff. Over his last three appearances, Campbell has gone just two innings while allowing three runs, five hits, and a homer. He was lights out all season before that, which is why Isaiah Campbell still ranks pretty strongly on our prospect lists.
Isaiah Campbell is our 17th-ranked Mariners prospect
Campbell was switched to a reliever part way into the season, even though he was throwing well as a starter. It seems to be the right move though, as he turned into a strikeout machine once he assumed the relief/closer role for the Mariners high A Everett Aquasox team. Through 15 games and 15 IP, he threw 70% of his pitches for strikes, walking just one batter, not giving up an earned run, and striking out 20 hitters.
The fastball was his best pitch, and stepping into a relief role has allowed the velocity to tick up into the high 90s. It will likely need a bit of movement in order to be devastating but is still a strong pitch.
If you’ve looked him up in the past, you would’ve noticed a four-pitch repertoire. Isaiah Campbell sported fastball-slider-curve-splitter when he was a starter. Well, you won’t really be finding that anymore, as he has essentially dropped the curve and splitter, focusing on just two pitches in his relief role.
The curve was never great, so it’s fine to see him drop that, especially as a reliever. However, the splitter is a strong pitch and would give him another tier of talent if he had three above-average pitches.
He’s been moved up to AA Arkansas to finish out the year, and will have a month or so of baseball there to get a bit more experience and work in the pen. At 25, he’s running out of “prospect” time and is instead approaching journeyman minor leaguer. He should have a bit of slack though, as he’s dealt with the COVID shutdown as well as recovery from overuse in college resulting in some cleanup in his elbow to remove spurs.
- Fastball: 60
- Slider: 55
- Splitter: 50
- Control: 55
- Overall: 50
If Campbell can finish out 2022 strong, don’t be surprised to see him inserted into the bullpen conversation in 2023 for available arms to take a spot. Especially if he can develop a bit of movement on the heater. We’ve seen plenty of Mariners relievers pitch well after developing their slider, and with Campbell’s 1-2 approach, he very well could be the next in line.
A 50 as a reliever is a lot different than a 50 as a starter, but I do think that he is going to see time in the bigs next year. With a clean delivery and repeatedly pounding the strike zone, Campbell is higher on my list than most other places. If he had a bit longer track record in the pen, he would be a lot higher on my list. For now, Isaiah Campbell comes in at #17 for the Mariners.