On Wednesday the Oakland Athletics traded first baseman/third baseman Ryon Healy to the Seattle Mariners for right-handed pitcher Emilio Pagan and shortstop Alexander Campos. Healy and Pagan are both solid players, Healy as a young power hitter of course and Pagan (who exceeded rookie qualifications in 2017) as a very good relief pitcher.
The most valuable in the long run, however, may be Campos, who is years away but has the most defensive value and some offensive upside. Here’s a quick take.
Alexander Campos, SS: The Mariners signed Campos out of Venezuela in the summer of 2016, giving him a $575,000 bonus. His pro debut was successful: he hit .290/.413/.367 in the Dominican Summer League with 41 walks and 39 strikeouts in 207 at-bats.
Campos is listed at 6-0, 178, a right-handed hitter born February 20, 2000. Scouting reports focus on his defense, noting above-average arm strength, enough range to remain at shortstop, and better reliability than most infielders his age.
In 48 games in the DSL he posted a .940 fielding percentage with a 4.27 range factor at shortstop. It is true that defensive statistics at the lowest levels must be taken with large grains of salt but the numbers are a credible beginning and do not contradict the positive scouting reports.
The bat is intriguing as well. Again, numbers from the DSL must be interpreted cautiously: there are many examples of players who struggle in the Summer League who blossom once they get to the United States, as well as players who crush the DSL but have problems once they arrive on the mainland.
That said, a good start is better than a bad one and Campos is off to a good start, showing sharp strike zone judgment in his debut and the potential for gap power. His running speed is reported at 55 or 60 but he does need to improve his reads on the bases: he swiped seven but was caught ten times.
Overall, the Athletics picked up a young player who has a very good chance to stick at shortstop and has a shot at being a good hitter, too. Campos is years away but the potential exists for him to be the most complete player in this trade.