Campbell Keeping It Going

Campbell is hitting .341 in the month of May

After getting off to a slow start in his first full season with the Binghamton Mets last year, third baseman Eric Campbell turned things around in July and has been cruising ever since. He hit .323 over his last 54 games of 2011 after finishing the first three months of the season with a batting average under .200, and has managed to keep last year's late-season success going this year.

Campbell said a lot of his struggles at the plate last season were a result of confidence issues.

"Last year was a long year, pretty much everything that could've been wrong with my swing was wrong at some point," he said. "So it was just a matter of fixing everything and turning everything around, and for me to finish strong really helped me with my confidence through the offseason and into this year as well."

Campbell spent the offseason finishing classes at Boston College and working out with the team. He reported to Spring Training on February 1, which he said allowed him plenty of time to prepare for the season.

Hitting coach Luis Natera said that everything appears to be going right at the plate for Campbell right now, and glimpses of his potential are evident.

"This year he's shown the player that we thought he was gonna be," Natera said. "He's got a lot of ability with the bat and right now he's [hitting] the ball well to the opposite field and when he started doing that, we can see he's coming."

Campbell is currently on track to outperform his career-best year of 2010, when he split most of the season between the St. Luice Mets and Binghamton and finished with 10 home runs and a .306 batting average through 99 games.

A major key to a successful 2012 campaign, according to Campbell, will be staying off the disabled list.

"I just want to stay healthy," he said. " I've been on the 7-day DL once already so if I can avoid that and just play the whole season I think I'll be alright."

Campbell missed six games in late April with a right shoulder strain, but hasn't missed a beat in his return. He is currently hitting .341 in the month of May.

"I'm just seeing the ball I guess," Campbell said. "It's a short sample, it's only been a month … but my timing's alright, I'm seeing the pitches alright, and I'm not really swinging at balls [out of the strike zone]."

Manger Pedro Lopez said Campbell's plate discipline has been one reason for his recent success. Finding the right pitch to hit has been an early focus of the B-Mets as a team and Campbell's example helps, Lopez said.

"[Campbell is] a guy who's done a good job hitting in the middle of the lineup for us, and he brings a good approach to the plate every time," Lopez said. "I think that's [what has] made him successful to this point."

Lopez and Natera both said that Campbell's approach at the plate is spot on, and he just needs to continue doing what he's doing to remain successful.

"I'm expecting him to have a good year," Lopez said. "He's a guy that was here last year the whole year, he's a veteran guy, and he's gonna be a big impact on these younger kids."

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