Sil Campusano – 1989 Score
October 5, 2010
“$30.00 for Sil Campusano!”
In the early days of Rotisserie / Fantasy baseball, the Toronto Blue Jays could seemingly do no wrong in the area of player development.
Because they developed so many young players like Lloyd Moseby, George Bell, Jesse Barfield, Dave Steib, Fred McGriff, Kelly Gruber, Manny Lee and Tom Henke, everyone thought the Jays could do NO WRONG, NONE regarding hyped prospects.
Of course, many of the Jays’ youngsters were acquired by trade or Rule V draft, and not by drafting or signing, but still, the thought was that anyone coming up the ranks and anointed as “THE ONE” by the Blue Jays would have success.
So when Campusano came up for draft in 1988, everyone was all over him.
Never mind that three hyped Blue Jays prospects – Nelson Liriano, Rob Ducey and Mike Sharperson didn’t really pan out in 1987.
Never mind his stats at AA in 1986 were rather pedestrian. He was only 20.
Never mind his stats at AAA in 1987 weren’t so hot. He was 21. He was fast! He had the tools!
A closer look would have shown this:
Campusano in 1987 had a .264/.333/.451 line. He had speed (10 triples) but was 26/41 in steals.
His K/W was 110/46, so he whiffed a lot. You can’t take advantage of speed if you strike out.
There were a lot of red flags. But the Jays hyped him, and the reports were that he was the real deal, so anyone who played Rotisserie / Fantasy in 1988 bid the heck out of him. He had power (supposedly), he could steal (supposedly), and he’d hit for average. Why not?
Well, the outfield combo of Bell / Moseby / Barfield was just fine, and they were just 28 years old. Yes, George Bell was a bit of a minus defender, but really, they were a fine trio.
Fred McGriff moved to first base, and Kelly Gruber slotted in at third, and that allowed Rance Mulliniks and others (like Cecil Fielder) to slot in as DH. Sure, Mulliniks wasn’t a normal DH type, but he was a pretty decent offensive player.
They didn’t need to force feed Campusano into the lineup – but they did.
First, they moved Bell to DH, or at least tried to. He wasn’t having any of that.
Then they marginalized Moseby for a while. Lloyd had enough secondary skills so that when he was hitting .240 he was helping the club.
Meanwhile, the fantasy five-tool wet dream Campusano was struggling. By April 14, he was hitting .115 and then he was moved to the bench as the fourth outfielder / defensive replacement.
He never got out of that role in 1988. In August he was sent down for a while, and struggled in Syracuse. He spent 1989 in Syracuse, then went to the Phillies but by 1992 he disappeared. At age 25, done.
Really, it wasn’t Sil’s fault. He had holes in his game. He needed time to develop, but the Jays were so hyped on prospects they didn’t see those faults. So he was a ‘failed’ prospect, the Jays in 1988 season was in disarray, and many Rotiss / Fantasy owners were out a huge bid.
Now, with all of the fancy metrics we have, we would have known that Sil wasn’t all he wasn’t hyped to be….maybe. We’re still blinded by athletic ability, speed and tools. But sometimes tools need to be taken out of the shed.