Kristian Campbell Excites Red Sox With New Swing


When the Red Sox drafted Kristian Campbell in the fourth round last year out of Georgia Tech, he had a couple of strong foundational skills.

He had elite contact rates and good speed, which suggested a nice floor. But the 6-foot-3, 191-pound second baseman also seemingly had untapped upside.

Despite impressive strength, he tended to spray the ball to all fields and rarely drove the ball in the air. His speed also seemed bottled up on the infield. 

Campbell had a solid pro debut last summer. He hit .309/.441/.471 in 22 games while seeing some work in the outfield, mostly in left.

But he truly went to work at the end of the season, spending nearly the entire offseason in Fort Myers, Fla., to add strength and work on his swing and defense. 

The results were noteworthy. This spring, the 21-year-old Campbell featured a no-holds-barred, high-effort swing that nonetheless resulted in resounding barrels with regular displays of pull-side power.

“I don’t think there’s any reason to believe his contact skills and swing decisions won’t stay strong,” Red Sox assistant GM Paul Toboni said. “Then on top of that he’s displaying an ability to hit the ball about as hard as anyone in the organization. That excites us.” 

If Campbell is driving the ball in the air, he has a chance—especially in High-A Greenville to start the year—to emerge rapidly as a notable prospect. That is particularly true if he takes to playing center field, a position that he has embraced.

The combination certainly made him one of the more intriguing Red Sox minor league prospects during spring training. 

“With the swing-decision ability that he already naturally has, on top of the ability to impact the baseball, we’re looking at a guy who could be really, really impactful and continue to get better,” Red Sox farm director Brian Abraham said. 


— Righthander Noah Song, a 2019 fourth-rounder out of Navy who didn’t pitch from 2020 to 2022 while fulfilling his military service obligations, had Tommy John surgery and will miss the year. 

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