Lakewood infielder Derek Campbell hasn’t hit his stride yet this season with the Class A Lakewood BlueClaws. Struggling to bust out offensively (.188 average, one HR, 18 RBI in 43 games), the 23-year-old is focused on helping the team win before anything else.
Playing mostly third base for the BlueClaws, Campbell took some time recently to offer his thoughts on his draft experience last year, on the even of the anniversary of being drafted last year out of UC Berkeley, and playing for manager Shawn Williams among other things.
Read ahead for those quotes from Derek…
-With the draft coming up this week, talk about what your draft experience was like last year.
It was just, I hung out with my family and my friends. I kind of waited, like everyone else does. And I celebrated, not to much, but I was ready for that next step in my life, so it was a fun time.
-How did you approach signing your first pro contract? Was there any delay or negotiating that went on?
I signed pretty quick, ’cause I was a senior and I had graduated and that was what was next to come, was to go play professional baseball. So, I was eager to sign and I was anxious to get to where ever they were going to send me right away.
-Where did you go first? Straight to Williamsport to begin the short-season A level season?
I first went to Clearwater to do all the physicals and then I went to Williamsport.
-You manager with Williamsport last year is your manager in Lakewood this season, Shawn Williams. How has you helped with your development?
I love playing for Shawn. I feel like he’s really helped me grow as a player on the field. He’s a big advocate of eliminating mental mistakes, as are a lot of managers, but he really wants harps on that because once you focus on that, your natural abilities take over. I’ve enjoyed (playing for him) so far.
-What are your thoughts on your season to date, as we approach the half-way mark?
I mean, you have your ups and downs in the season. I’m, obviously, not hitting probably as well as I’d like, but I love seeing us win, so whether or not I’m doing well sometimes, I’m always happy to get the win. But, I feel like if I can improve my stats, it won’t hurt the team, so that’s where my mind’s at right now.
-Is there any key aspect of your game that you’re looking to improve at right now?
Just consistency at the plate. I feel like that’s the case for many players, but that’s me right now.
The 2015 MLB draft gets rolling at 7PM Eastern Monday evening, with the opening round being broadcast on MLB Network & MLB.com