Soup’s on! Our 2014 Mets Season in Review series continues with jack-of-all-trades Eric Campbell.
Barely a blip on the Flushing radar at the start of the season, the 27-year-old Campbell established himself as a solid bat off the bench and stopgap at any position.
Sep 10, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets left fielder Eric Campbell (29) doubles to deep left center during the fourth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
How he fared in 2014:
Campbell began 2014 in Triple-A Las Vegas but caught the eye of the big ballclub with an unexpectedly excellent April. He hit .355 with 24 RBIs and .967 OPS over 33 games with the 51s. The pride of Norwich, Connecticut, the Mets’ eighth-round pick from 2008, finally saw his first big-league action on May 10, hitting a pinch-hit sac fly to tie the game against the Phillies and finishing the game at first base.
Soup eventually settled into the utility role vacated by Justin Turner last winter, seeing playing time at six positions. Perhaps his finest moment came on May 22 against the Dodgers, his first start in left field. Campbell drove in a run with a sac fly and saved a one-run lead with a spectacular double play in the top of the 8th. The Mets eventually won the game 5-3.
At the plate, Eric struggled in the last two months of the longest season in his career but still finished with respectable numbers. Campbell hit .263 on the year with nine doubles, three home runs, 16 RBIs, and .680 OPS.
Areas to Improve On:
Campbell could stand to hit a few more home runs next season. He has never been much of a power guy, hitting just 11 home runs over 153 games in hitter-friendly Las Vegas, but as primarily a pinch-hitter in the big leagues, he can seriously up his stock by becoming New York’s top big bopper in late-game situations. At the very least, he would be well served to work on findings the gaps and building his OPS up to the mid-.700s from the high-.600s.
Projected Role in 2015:
May 22, 2014; New York, NY, USA; New York Mets first baseman Eric Campbell (29) and New York Mets center fielder Juan Lagares (12) celebrate after defeating the Los Angeles Dodgers at Citi Field. The Mets defeated the Dodgers 5-3. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
Utility infielder/outfielder, batting sixth/seventh when starting. In Campbell, the Mets have a solid player who can field not just the entire infield but the corner outfield slots as well. He’s a nice piece to have on the 25-man roster.
Contract Status and Trade Rumors:
Campbell isn’t eligible for arbitration until 2017 and will cost the Mets little more than the minimum next season. The only way Eric will get moved is if included in a larger package deal.