New Yankees Pitching Prospect Jose Campos Might Be a Star: Fan’s View

As part of the Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda trade between the New York Yankees and Seattle Mariners, the Yankees also acquired a minor league pitcher named Jose Campos. Campos is from Venezuela and he is just 19 years old, but has already pitched three years for the Mariners farm teams.

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I'm a big time New York Yankees fan, and I might be looking at Jose Campos through rose-colored glasses, but the kid looks like he can become a star pitcher in the major leagues to me. I say that for a few different reasons.

Jose Campos is Just 19 and Has Made Great Strides

Jose Campos has shown great strides as a pitcher over three years he pitched for the Seattle Mariners farm teams. As a 16 year old in 2009, Campos pitched in 13 games for the Mariners Venezuelan Summer League team. He went just 1-3 with a 5.73 ERA, and struck out just 23 batter sin 33 innings. Campos also walked 16 hitters, and had a WHIP of 1.636. Not too impressive.

In his second year though, Jose Campos showed marked improvement as a 17 year old. Again, in the Venezuelan Summer League, Jose Campos went 8-2 with a 3.16 ERA, and struck out 59 batters in 57 innings pitched, while walking 19 hitters. Campos lowered his WHIP to 1.193, while striking out more than a batter per inning, and having a strikeout to walk ratio of better than three to one.

Last year, as a 18 year old, the Mariners sent Jose Campos to their Everett AquaSox A ball minor league team in the Northwest League. Again, Jose Campos showed marked improvement. He went 5-5 with a 2.32 ERA, and struck out 85 batters in 81.1 innings, while walking only 13 hitters. Campos lowered his WHIP to an excellent 0.971, while increasing his strikeout to walk ratio to 6.54 to one.

Campos Has Pitched to a Low WHIP With a Great Strikeout to Walk Ratio

Granted it was just in A ball in the minor leagues, but Jose Campos put up some pretty impressive numbers while showing excellent control of the strike zone. He is just 19 years old, and is 6' 4" and weighs 195 lbs.

After the trade that brought Jose Campos to the Yankees, Baseball America now ranks Campos as the fifth best prospect in the Yankees organization. Two of the players Baseball America lists above Jose Campos are pitchers Manny Banuelos and Dellin Betances. Banuelos will be 21 years old this season, and has pitched to a 1.277 WHIP in the minor leagues over four seasons.

Dellin Betances is already 23 years old, and has pitched to a 1.282 WHIP in the minor leagues. Both Banuelos (9.2 strikeouts per nine innings) and Betances (10.4 strikeouts per nine innings) are high strikeout pitchers like Jose Campos, but neither seems to have the command that Campos does.

Jose Campos Might Be a Star Pitcher for the New York Yankees

I could be completely wrong here, but I think Jose Campos is a better prospect than either Banuelos or Betances is. He's younger than both, and has better command of the strike zone, with just as much power, and a much better strikeout to walk ratio.

I think Jose Campos, who has a high leg kick slightly like El Duque Hernandez used to have, has a good chance to become a star pitcher in the major leagues.

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Updated Thursday, Feb 16, 2012