Campos Goes In Attack Mode For Rockies
DENVER—Rookie-level Casper pitching coach Craig Bjornson said some of his starters were a bit gun-shy about making consecutive starts against the same team, wondering how their stuff would play so soon against the same lineup.
Such concerns didn't faze Venezuelan righthander Albert Campos, who told Bjornson, "I want the best team every time in a row."
Campos, 19, thrived this year at Casper after two seasons in the Rookie-level Dominican Summer League. He went 4-4, 2.05 and was named Pioneer League pitcher of the year after he led the league in innings (88) and ERA. He walked 17—no more than two in any of his 15 starts—and struck out 68.
"He never changed his plan," Bjornson said. "His plan was attack, attack with the fastball, (using a) downhill plane and then work off that."
At 6-foot-4, 222 pounds, Campos can create an ideal downhill plane for his fastball, curveball and changeup. The curveball is a plus pitch, and his changeup, which was not a factor early in the season, improved greatly.
Campos pitched at least six innings in each of his final seven starts, when he went 3-2, 1.50 with seven walks and 37 strikeouts in 47 innings. The two losses were 3-2 at Helena, when Campos threw his only complete game of the season, and 1-0 at Orem, when he allowed one unearned run in seven innings.
Campos has average velocity, but his size and the way he pitched while making two seven-inning and two eight-inning starts in his final six outings suggest he'll throw harder.
"He liked to pitch, so he kind of kept a bullet in his gun and when he wanted to take it out, he'd take it out," Bjornson said. "He sat around 89-91 (mph), and he'd have a handful of 92s.
"We pitched him deep sometimes into the seventh, eighth inning and he'd pull out 94s and 93s in that last inning just to finish people off when he was ahead in the count. There's more in the tank. His full potential with that arm strength's not there yet."
• Outfielder Chandler Laurent has decided against switch-hitting, something the Rockies wanted the natural righthanded hitter to work on in instructional league.
• Shortstop Thomas Field went on a 13-for-37 streak after an 0-for-23 start in the Arizona Fall League, though he still finished with .209/.260/.299 numbers in 67 at-bats.