The Cleveland Guardians have selected right-handed pitcher Justin Campbell out of Oklahoma State. Standing 6-foot-7, Campbell has the body of a front of the rotation starter and some of the best secondary pitches of the 2022 draft.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline had to say about him:
An 18th-round pick by the Astros out of a California high school in 2019, Campbell opted instead to attend Oklahoma State and pull double duty as a pitcher and DH. He immediately won a spot in the weekend rotation in 2020 and was a finalist for the John Olerud Award as NCAA Division I’s best two-way talent in 2021, when he threw a 99-pitch no-hitter against Kansas. More of an on-base guy than a slugger at the plate, he focused solely on pitching this season and could fit toward the end of the first round after finishing seventh in D-I with 141 strikeouts in 101 1/3 innings.
Hitters just don’t seem to see the ball well against Campbell, who has a 6-foot-7 frame and deceptive mechanics with an unusual approach angle. His fastball sits around 92 mph and touches 97, and it features high spin rates and running action that generate a lot of harmless contact. He has a pair of solid secondary pitches that he’ll use against both left-handers and right-handers: an upper-70s changeup with even more horizonal movement than his heater and a mid-70s curveball that creates a lot of empty swings and groundouts.
Campbell also fiddles with a low-80s slider but primarily operates with three pitches. Extremely athletic for his size, he provides plenty of strikes and can win on days that he lacks his best stuff. He’s a high-floor starter with a good probability of filling a No. 4 slot in a rotation.
MLB Pipeline had Campbell listed as the No. 36 prospect in the 2022 MLB Draft, so he’s practically exactly meeting projections. I’m really looking forward to seeing what he can do at the professional level.