Kristian Campbell, 2B/CF

moondog80

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Fast-rising prospect, 4th round pick out of Georgia Tech last year (the Xander Bogaerts comp pick), hit 306/418/558 in 177 PA in Greenville before getting the callup to Portland where he's gone 392/456/667 in 57 PA. Unclear where he fits on defense, he's split time at 2B and CF, soxprospects says he has plus speed with the athleticism for the OF.




https://x.com/alexspeier/status/1802763242185376111?ref_src=twsrc^tfw|twcamp^tweetembed|twterm^1802763242185376111|twgr^9d230237f61b15b01773a38b096bbb3185237e6e|twcon^s1_&ref_url=https://forum.soxprospects.com/thread/7412/kristian-campbell?page=2


(Tweet, which I can't get to embed, is from Alex Speier: "In his 2nd week in Double-A, Kristian Campbell was named Eastern League Player of the Week. Heard from a couple evaluators think he might be a top-5 prospect in the Sox system. A look at his huge strides in less than 1 year of pro ball " https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/06/07/sports/red-sox-kristian-cambell-minor-leagues/?event=event25
 

Big Papa Smurph

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His swing is so odd looking for how much power he generates. The article above mentions that his swing looks like Hunter Pence's.
Two videos below were taken from Red Sox Stats on twitter:

A home run to centerfield

An opposite field home run, that looks like a pop up off the bat.
 

koufax32

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I immediately thought of Albert Belle’s swing. Hopefully KC doesn’t have the same temper…or hip.
 

nvalvo

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This dude being promoted to AA and immediately being the Eastern League player of the week is giving me Mookie vibes. Obviously Campbell is a bit older/level and strikes out more and isn’t the same defender, but… we might have something here. A B+ Mookie Betts is a fine player.
 

Apisith

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Yeah, Campbell’s rise is eerily similar to Mookie’s. Both immediately adjusted when promoted. He could be up to the majors by the end of next year. A RHH power bat who can play an up the middle position would be a dream fit for our current roster.
 

Fishy1

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Love to see him cut the K rate at AA in his first 75 plate appearances or so. That 26% at A+ had me slightly concerned, but he is doing absolutely obscene things for his age. A 17% K rate in AA makes him really, really interesting, given how hard he hits the ball. That's Xander and Devers territory, in terms of minor league K rate.

The Mookie comparisons are interesting, but like a lot of our most successful prospects (Benintendi, Pedroia, Xander), Mookie had a miniscule K rate at every level -- only 14% in AAA, and only 8% in AA. Kristian hasn't show that kind of contact skill. In fact the only guy in our system who has is Meidroth (but Meidroth has never and probably will never hit the ball as hard as those other guys).
 

nvalvo

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Love to see him cut the K rate at AA in his first 75 plate appearances or so. That 26% at A+ had me slightly concerned, but he is doing absolutely obscene things for his age. A 17% K rate in AA makes him really, really interesting, given how hard he hits the ball. That's Xander and Devers territory, in terms of minor league K rate.

The Mookie comparisons are interesting, but like a lot of our most successful prospects (Benintendi, Pedroia, Xander), Mookie had a miniscule K rate at every level -- only 14% in AAA, and only 8% in AA. Kristian hasn't show that kind of contact skill. In fact the only guy in our system who has is Meidroth (but Meidroth has never and probably will never hit the ball as hard as those other guys).
To be clear, I don't actually think he's Mookie Betts. That's an unfair comp to put on a prospect. Really, the sole basis for the reference was the way Campbell is striding through his promotion to the high minors without a hiccup. He actually seems pretty unique.
 

LoLsapien

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Fangraphs prospect scores for Kristian, updated in 2023, are intriguing. He was assigned a FV of 40 with a present and future value 60 speed tool. His "present value" scores for hit/field/raw power/game power are 35/40/30/30. His FV scores are 65/50/30/30.

SoxProspects scouting report calls out his unconventional swing, and states that he could have "untapped power potential but would likely require a swing change". It would be interesting to hear if he made an adjustment that unlocked this power. They also stated that he can have issues identifying breaking pitches, and questions about how he'd catch up to velocity. According to SP, he has an average arm, and his defense is a work in progress, but he has athleticism that profiles well for the outfield or 2B.

There's obviously no way he'll keep THIS up and the sample sizes are still super small... but man. I'm looking forward to hopefully soon seeing threads asking "what will we do with Abreu/Duran/C-Note/Anthony/Campbell???"

Good luck Kristian!!!

Edit: nice article about the kid, seems he's absolutely been making adjustments designed to increase power
 
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Fishy1

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To be clear, I don't actually think he's Mookie Betts. That's an unfair comp to put on a prospect. Really, the sole basis for the reference was the way Campbell is striding through his promotion to the high minors without a hiccup. He actually seems pretty unique.
Certainly didn't mean to target you in any way shape or form, I just find it interesting to dig a little deeper into this comparisons.

I'm interested to see where he goes. If he keeps the K rate in the teens... watch out. I can't remember a Sox prospect who showed this much discipline, this low of a K rate, and this power, all in the minors. Helpful to remember Mookie didn't hit more than like, 15 home runs in a single minor league season.
 

nvalvo

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Certainly didn't mean to target you in any way shape or form, I just find it interesting to dig a little deeper into this comparisons.

I'm interested to see where he goes. If he keeps the K rate in the teens... watch out. I can't remember a Sox prospect who showed this much discipline, this low of a K rate, and this power, all in the minors. Helpful to remember Mookie didn't hit more than like, 15 home runs in a single minor league season.
I didn't think you were. It's a fascinating question! There really isn't an obvious comp, which leaves us reaching for players who were themselves hard to comp. He's added like .100 to his ISO in an offseason! That sort of thing happens with high school draftees and IFAs, but feels rare for guys with polished approaches from good NCAA programs.

We've heard a few inklings but not much of any substance about the Sox having a bat speed program that they put their young hitters on. I wonder if we'll look back at Campbell as its first big success, like how Betts was the poster boy for the neuroscouting stuff they started doing a few years back.

Campbell was good in his pro debut, but (above rookie ball) he was good in a .300/.400/.400 kind of way; now he's slugging .700 in AA! In their midseason update just last year, Fangraphs gave him a 30/35 present/future score on power. He might be a 70 now. That is insane. They've said for years that guys have "power you can't teach." Well, ... what if you can?

It might totally change the way we draft hitters, for one thing.
 

LoLsapien

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That slugging will go down, of course, as his BABIP declines. He's currently riding a 0.500ish BABIP, but if he settles in as a .250/.350/0.500 player... With his speed... Well you've basically got another Duran. Boy that sure would be nice!
 

The Gray Eagle

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Speier in the Glob with a blurb on Campbell:
https://www.bostonglobe.com/2024/06/25/sports/red-sox-minor-leagues-kristian-campbell-portland/

Campbell’s performance in a transformational year has been little short of staggering. Between High A Greenville and Double A Portland, he’s hitting .344 (fifth among minor leaguers with 200 plate appearances) with a .451 on-base percentage (sixth) and .599 slugging percentage (eighth). He does an excellent job of spitting on pitches out of the strike zone, swinging at strikes, and hitting the snot out of the ball.
Notably, his performance has improved since his promotion this month. Last week, Campbell went 8 for 14 with six walks and three strikeouts, pushing his Double A line after 17 games to .431/.526/.692.
Hard to believe he was drafted less than a year ago.

The only problem now is that every team we talk to is going to ask for Campbell back in any trade where we'd get a good player.
Good problem to have.
 

bluefenderstrat

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Now 110 PAs with Portland and slashing .413/.509/.652 for a 1.161 OPS. And he’s got 14 walks to only 21 Ks—it’s been a remarkable performance.
 

LoLsapien

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Now 89 on Baseball America's top 100! The BABIP is still over 0.500 but there's no denying his incredible performance. I'm incredibly excited about this kid.
 

JM3

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I've always thought his future was as a corner outfielder... but not sure what to make of Portland starting him at SS 3 games in a row, despite him not playing there since HS.

I haven't watched him play there, so no idea how it looks, but he has 5 assists, 3 putouts & 0 errors.

Wayyyy too small of a sample-size to do this, but YOLO:

That's an average of 1 assist every 5.4 innings & a putout every 9 innings.

Compare to Mayer who averages an assist every 4.4 innings & a putout every 7.2 innings.

& Paulino who averages an assist at SS every 4.8 innings & a putout every 7.9 innings.

& McDonough who averages an assist every 8.6 innings & a putout every 21.5.

Choosing to start him at SS over Paulino & McDonough with Mayer out is really fascinating to me...& actually makes me think they might view him as a super utility guy.
 

LoLsapien

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I've always thought his future was as a corner outfielder... but not sure what to make of Portland starting him at SS 3 games in a row, despite him not playing there since HS.

I haven't watched him play there, so no idea how it looks, but he has 5 assists, 3 putouts & 0 errors.

Wayyyy too small of a sample-size to do this, but YOLO:

That's an average of 1 assist every 5.4 innings & a putout every 9 innings.

Compare to Mayer who averages an assist every 4.4 innings & a putout every 7.2 innings.

& Paulino who averages an assist at SS every 4.8 innings & a putout every 7.9 innings.

& McDonough who averages an assist every 8.6 innings & a putout every 21.5.

Choosing to start him at SS over Paulino & McDonough with Mayer out is really fascinating to me...& actually makes me think they might view him as a super utility guy.
If BABIP doesn't completely evaporate, Kristian's bat plays anywhere on the field. The fact that he can play infield or outfield could give the Sox tremendous optionality. I'm not sure that the team trying him different places indicates his future is a super sub so much as, when he's ready, they want to plug him wherever there's an opportunity.
 

Fishy1

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Even if the BABIP is astronomical right now, the guy had a 31% line drive rate in A+ this year and has a 32% line drive rate in AA right now. That's really, really high. Add to that the power and K rate at only 19% and the walk rate... He's made himself a really interesting prospect very fast.
 

JM3

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If BABIP doesn't completely evaporate, Kristian's bat plays anywhere on the field. The fact that he can play infield or outfield could give the Sox tremendous optionality. I'm not sure that the team trying him different places indicates his future is a super sub so much as, when he's ready, they want to plug him wherever there's an opportunity.
I don't view super utility & super sub the same way, so i don't think we really disagree. I would be kind of shocked if he's ever a plus MLB defensive SS, though, so I think it's unlikely they're doing this with having him be the every day SS for the Red Sox as the goal.
 

LoLsapien

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I don't view super utility & super sub the same way, so i don't think we really disagree. I would be kind of shocked if he's ever a plus MLB defensive SS, though, so I think it's unlikely they're doing this with having him be the every day SS for the Red Sox as the goal.
Got it! Slightly off topic, it's going to be really interesting to see if this guy hits some adversity in the next couple months, offensively or defensively, and how he adjusts!
 

BaseballJones

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Campbell is now the #5 ranked prospect according to SoxProspects.com.

1. Anthony - ETA: Mid 2025
2. Mayer - ETA: Early 2025
3. Teel - ETA: Early 2025
4. Bleis - ETA: Late 2026
5. Campbell - ETA: Late 2026
6. Perales - ETA: Mid 2027
7. Cespedes - ETA: Mid 2027
8. Fitts - ETA: Late 2024
9. Sandlin - ETA: Late 2026
10. Zanetello - ETA: Late 2027
11. Meidroth - ETA: Early 2025
12. Yorke - ETA: Mid 2025
13. Lugo - ETA: Mid 2025

It'll be super interesting to see how the Sox handle all these guys. There's some juicy trade bait there for teams willing to deal to get quality prospects. I like how they're spaced out in terms of ETA as well. Not all scheduled to arrive at once, but it looks like a steady stream of talent feeding the major league club.
 

Merkle's Boner

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I don’t understand “Late 2026” as an arrival time for KCamp. If he keeps hitting even close to this level there’s no way he stays in the minors for two and a half more years.
 

Fishy1

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I don’t understand “Late 2026” as an arrival time for KCamp. If he keeps hitting even close to this level there’s no way he stays in the minors for two and a half more years.
Yeah, he hasn't slowed down since he entered the system. Mayer and Anthony have both had tough patches and took time to adjust, Anthony is kind of scuffling in AA... That has yet to happen with Campbell.
 

Jimbodandy

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Campbell is now the #5 ranked prospect according to SoxProspects.com.

1. Anthony - ETA: Mid 2025
2. Mayer - ETA: Early 2025
3. Teel - ETA: Early 2025
4. Bleis - ETA: Late 2026
5. Campbell - ETA: Late 2026
6. Perales - ETA: Mid 2027
7. Cespedes - ETA: Mid 2027
8. Fitts - ETA: Late 2024
9. Sandlin - ETA: Late 2026
10. Zanetello - ETA: Late 2027
11. Meidroth - ETA: Early 2025
12. Yorke - ETA: Mid 2025
13. Lugo - ETA: Mid 2025

It'll be super interesting to see how the Sox handle all these guys. There's some juicy trade bait there for teams willing to deal to get quality prospects. I like how they're spaced out in terms of ETA as well. Not all scheduled to arrive at once, but it looks like a steady stream of talent feeding the major league club.
Love a bunch of the guys on that list, and have been down with Campbell since he hit the ground running last year. Surprised to see Zanatello so high though. Poor kid isn't hitting his weight right now, even with a high BABIP, and strikes out so much that even Bobby Dalbec blushes.

As far as a logjam goes, only the top 3 are really locked in positionally. If they have to find a place for Campbell or Meidroth, they have some optionality there.
 

JCizzle

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This kid has me more excited than any of the big three. I’m sure that’s shortsighted, but I love a kid that comes relatively out of nowhere and flies up the rankings.
 

TrotNixonRing

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I mean, this is just getting stinking ridiculous

2-4 with 2 2B tonight, 3 R and 1 BB

120 PA in AA, .410 AVG 1.158 OPS in the Eastern League, not at all some PCL hyper offensive environment

unreal, can’t believe how stacked this AA team is and looking forward to following this guy
 

LoLsapien

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Was curious about Ted Williams' BABIP in his 0.407 season, and discovered that season he had a 22% bb rate, and a 4.5% k rate.

Erm, excuse me??? This wasn't even some weird fluke, every year of Teddy's career looked like that. FWIW, his BABIP was 0.378. His ISO was 0.329.

Edit: Barry Bonds, 2004. 37.6% bb/6.6% k. ISO 0.450. o_O
 
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