Scouting Report: LHP Eddie Camacho

Camacho has been quite reliable in his career

The New York Mets signed lefty Eddie Camacho as an undrafted free agent out of Cal State Northridge back in 2004. Since that time he's been one of the more reliable left-handed relievers in the farm system and he's inching his way closer to the big leagues. Here's a scouting report on Eddie Camacho.

Camacho, 24, spent his 2006 season – his third in the organization - coming out of the bullpen for Double-A Binghamton, making a career-high 53 appearances.

The left-hander finished 3-4 with one save and a 3.63 ERA, allowing 71 hits and 36 runs (32 earned) in 79 1/3 innings. He walked 25 and struck out 61, finishing 12 games for Binghamton.

"Overall, I think I had a good year," Camacho said. "I pitched a lot more than I expected to, but it went well. I thought, more or less, I'd just go in and work as a one-inning guy [or] as a left-handed specialist, but I got more experience going two or three innings every once in a while. It worked out fine."

An undrafted free agent who signed with the Mets in 2004, Camacho has rebounded as a professional after two forgettable years at Cal-State Northridge, where he went a combined 3-13.

Riding a quick ascension through the Mets' system, Camacho took advantage of the 2006 offseason by pitching in winter ball in Puerto Rico.

The league is populated with a number of current and former big leaguers who appear less apt to take fastballs for first-pitch strikes, forcing Camacho to learn to 'pitch backward' more often by trusting his slider and change-up to get ahead.

"That's kind of what I learned in Double-A as well," Camacho said. "A lot of people told me that Double-A was tough because you've got a lot of ex-big league guys around there. I expected to go out there and see a lot of good hitting, and I did.

"If I went two or more innings and saw the same guy, I knew I'd have to pitch him differently. I knew for a fact that if I pitched him the same, he'd have had my timing down and got a hit."

Camacho believes that – plus the workload from the regular season at Binghamton – will give him added experience as he hopes to continue impressing Mets persons in 2007.

He called 2007 "one of the biggest years of my career," and with Shea Stadium seemingly getting closer by the day, it's easy to see why.

"Pitching that many innings in Double-A and seeing all the experiences in Puerto Rico, that's the kind of thing that can help me down the road," Camacho said.

"I learned how to pitch to lefties a little more, going in and out on them instead of going away all the time. Now I'm using every pitch that I have and throwing it for strikes."

Year

Team

W-L

SV

IP

Hits

BB

K

ERA

2006

Binghamton

3-4

1

79.1

71

25

61

3.63

2005

St. Lucie

2-4

10

49.1

49

21

40

2.74

2004

Brooklyn

3-1

1

39.0

19

11

38

0.69

2004

GCL

0-0

1

5.0

0

0

9

0.00



Repertoire. Fastball, Slider, Changeup.

Fastball. Camacho throws both a four-seam fastball, which he can bring as high as 90 MPH up in the zone, and a sinking two-seam fastball that sits mostly 85-87 MPH. He obviously doesn't throw hard at all but he is able to give his fastball a sneaky-fast appearance by slowing opposing bats down with solid secondary pitches.

Other Pitches. What makes Camacho so special, especially as an undrafted free agent signing, is the deception he gets on his plus changeup. His arm speed and slot are mirror images to his fastball and he has plus command of his changeup. He uses it as his strikeout pitch against left-handed batters as he can spot it at will on the outside corner of the plate. He compliments his repertoire with a solid slider that he uses to control the inner-half of the plate against right-handed batters.

Pitching. Camacho is not a raw power arm by any means, but rather a pitcher with polish and command. His plan on the mound is to slow bats down with his changeup and spot his slider and fastball in all four quadrants of the plate to keep hitters off-balance. It would seem a player in his position would pitch with a chip on his shoulder after going undrafted. It's quite the opposite. He pitches with the confidence of a high draft pick and he simply doesn't get rattled out on the mound.

Projection. Camacho's extremely effective changeup against lefties could make him a very good left-handed specialist at the big league level. But the fact is, with his solid slider and deceptive motion, he has actually been better against right-handed batters in his career thus far. He'll need to continue to put up numbers as an undrafted free agent to get his big league shot, but with a 2.61 career ERA and proving he can handle Double-A, there are no signs he can't continue. Camacho projects to be a left-handed reliever cut in the mold of Pedro Feliciano who also has the strength to be a long reliever if called upon.

ETA. 2008. Camacho's final test is Triple-A and that should be his likely destination to begin the 2007 season. There's a chance he could see his first big league action in '07, but the Mets will probably give him one more full season in the minors before calling him up.

InsidePitchMagazine.com Recommended Stories