The best super sub in the Phillies system is Derek Campbell. He has played every position except up the middle-centerfield, pitcher and catcher in his Phillies minor league career.
Last night he played his sixth game in his 185 game pro career in right field.
But it is the hit position where he has had a breakout season this year with the Clearwater Threshers. He is hitting .444 over his last ten games with four homers in his last four games but still can not find regular playing time.
Saturday night he hit two home runs including a walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to win a 4-3 game against the St. Lucie Mets. Watch his first home run HERE. Watch the celebration afterwards on his walk-off down the line to left field to win it HERE.
Campbell has put together perhaps the best offensive numbers of any hitter in baseball who has not been an every day player. He has only played in 31 of the Threshers 85 games this season, hitting with perhaps the most amazing slash lines of any non-starter in baseball with at least 87 at bats– .333/431/.644 with six homers and 16 RBIs.
In his only game at first base in his career earlier this season, he came on in the second inning inning for an injured Threshers first baseman and flawlessly fielded 15 chances including 14 putouts and one assist in a winning effort.
For a team lacking offense the Threshers manager Greg Legg and the Phillies minor league department have had trouble finding playing time for Campbell. He played in Thursday night’s game in right field in Dunedin. He went 2 for 4 with a homer but was benched in Friday’s game where the Threshers could manage only four hits in a loss before returning to the lineup last night going 3 for 4 with those two homers.
Another player the Phillies management has trouble finding every day position playing time for is corner infielder and DH Zach Green. He played against Dunedin Thursday night also and went 1 for 4 with one rbi. He too was on the bench in the Friday debacle and returned to the lineup Saturday night, going 1 for 4 with one RBI in the 4-3 win. Watch HERE.
Green has played in 71 of the 85 games thanks in part to the DH rule, much more than Campbell has played, but still finds himself riding the pines at strange times. And if he ever moves up the Phillies only need a DH when they play the few games in American League ballparks each season.
In an eight game stretch from June 15th to June 25th Green went 13 for 39 with four homers and 16 RBIs. Then even though he was hot, he found himself on the bench for the June 26th game. He returned to action on the 27th only to go into a 1 for 20 slump over the next six games.
Even though Green has been jerked around by the Threshers all season without a position, he amazingly is second in the Florida State League in RBIs with 51 thanks in part to his .301 batting average with runners in scoring position.. But he trails the FSL rbi leader by only one and the rbi leader has 51 more at bats than does Green.
We can only conclude this is the Phillies way of running player development. Performance does not always matter. Just ask 25-year-old Derek Campbell who is hitting .444 over his last ten games and can’t find regular playing time.
Then, there is 22-year old Zach Green, who struggles to fine a position to play even though he is hitting .301 with runners in scoring position and is second in the league in RBIs. Green found himself on the bench again on Sunday and did not play.