That prospect is Noah Campbell. He was initially picked in the 19th round of the 2017 amateur draft by the Brewers, but went to college instead. The Crew then signed him when he went undrafted in the truncated 2020 amateur draft, the one that produced Garrett Mitchell and Joey Wiemer. So, what would warrant him being untouchable?
Let’s take a look.
Campbell is a switch-hitter who draws lots of walks. In fact, in 752 professional at-bats, he has drawn 131 walks, with 215 strikeouts. Compared to the ratios of Keston Hiura and Jackson Chourio, that is quite impressive. He’s done most of his damage against right-handed pitching in 2023, but still posted a .329 OBP against left-handed pitchers.
Over his minor-league career, he has also hit for a solid average (.263), posting 45 doubles and 15 home runs. The doubles and homers are roughly the same sort of production one would expect from Jeff Cirillo over a full MLB season. Campbell has seen a bit of a power surge, too, hitting eight homers this season after totaling seven in 2021 and 2022.
He also has flashed some speed, stealing 20 bases in 2021, and adding a half-dozen in 2022 and (so far) in 2023. So, in terms of offense, Campbell is a solid player who doesn’t embarrass himself, and the offense has arguably gone up a level. It isn’t just his offense that Brewers fans will love, though.
Often, prospects get downgraded for lack of a so-called “defensive home.” Usually, this means a liability. In Campbell’s case, though, there hasn’t been a permanent home – because he’s arguably flashed the versatility of Hernan Perez, arguably the best utility player in Brewers history.
Campbell has played all three outfield positions, all four infield positions, and even donned the tools of ignorance for part of a game as a professional. He didn’t embarrass himself at any of the positions, and in fact, even collected a save during his time on the mound.
With the adoption of the DH, a team has four bench spots for the position player group. One will go to a second catcher. That leaves three others to back up the other seven positions. Campbell’s competence at those positions makes him an excellent choice to be on the bench, and gives the Brewers a viable “emergency” catcher on days when they deploy William Contreras as the DH.
But Wait, There’s More
Campbell also made four appearances on the mound in 2021 with the Carolina Mudcats, posting an 8.10 ERA (due to giving up three runs in one outing) but also notching a save in the last appearance. He has not seen the mound since, but this could be valuable, as it gives the Crew someone who can take up some “garbage” innings in blowouts–either in the Brewers’ favor, or when the team’s on the wrong end of one.
Noah Campbell might not be a normal top prospect to whom a team would cleave unless they were getting a massive upgrade or star, but for the Brewers, he could be a particularly valuable and potent weapon. They should not deal him any time soon.
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