Campbell Looking Ahead

Campbell hit in the middle of the Cyclones' order

Eric Campbell, the Mets' 8th round selection in last June's draft, was an important cog in the Brooklyn lineup this summer. Yet even though his presence played a big role in their ability to score runs, the third baseman wants more from his game as he works at Instructs and looks towards the 2009 season.

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One look at Brooklyn third baseman Eric Campbell and you see a ballplayer that fits the mold. Standing 6-foot-3 and weighing 220 pounds, he boasts the size and strength preferred for a man of the hot corner. The Boston College alumnus hit .260 with four home runs and 28 RBI in 66 games for the Cyclones this season, making the second most appearances of anyone on the roster only behind Kirk Nieuwenhuis' 74 games played.

But as he looks back on his rookie season, he understands there were times of missed opportunity and productivity. After hitting .283 with an on-base percentage nearing .400 through his first 35 games, Campbell hit a slide in the second half of the New York-Penn League season.

Whether it was due to physical wear of the long baseball year or not inability to make continuous in-season adjustments, he knows more could have been done.

"I learned a lot playing for [Brooklyn manager Edgar Alfonzo] Fonzie and [hitting coach Guadalupe Jabalera] Javy. I learned a lot and made strides so it was great time," he said.

"But I'm not sure I made a whole lot of specific adjustments, or was able to keep the same swing every day, use the whole field and be ready to hit whatever the pitcher was throwing at me."

Campbell owns a steady eye, strong plate awareness and a good opposite field approach, but maintaining continuity in his swing throughout the season proved problematic. Often he found himself becoming pull-happy and got away from the stroke that kept him moving in a positive direction.

"I wasn't consistent the whole year," he said. "I had some good games, but whenever I felt like I was getting going, I would have a couple mediocre games. I think I got into a bad habit of trying to pull the ball too much."

"I would have liked to have been a whole lot more consistent, but going through those struggles will only make me a better player in the long run."

Though his batting average dipped over his last 31 games, Campbell did accumulate his greatest production of the season in that span. With three home runs, 15 RBI and 15 runs scored, he put himself on track for Instructs and beyond.

"As the year went on I made an effort to hit the other way and I think by the end of the year I started to do a much better job of that. In Florida right now, I'm doing a much better job of going the other way."

"I need to get everything ready to go because I'll have a lot prove to show whether I get sent to Savannah, St. Lucie or wherever. I want to show that I'm valuable enough for them to put me on a good team."

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