Mariners sign Jorge Campillo

Dave · February 9, 2005 at 9:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Thanks to reader Rulo Montero (dude, I trailed to email you back, but your inbox is full), we were given the heads up that the M’s have, for all intents and purposes, agreed to a contract with 26-year-old RHP Jorge Campillo. Campillo starred for Culiacan of the Mexican League last year, posting a 2.05 ERA in 87 innings, walking just 17 batters compared to 62 strikeouts. International scouting supervisor Matt Stark obviously saw something he liked, as the M’s have signed him to a minor league deal and he will be invited to spring training, though I doubt he’ll be given a serious chance to make the 25-man roster. San Antonio or Tacoma seem like more likely destinations.

Information on Campillo’s stuff is a little more scarce, and none of my regular go to guys have anything on him. From reports gathered via the web, he sounds like a control artist who lacks great velocity, but he’s obviously found some way to get people out in the extremely hitter friendly Mexican League. We’ll keep digging around and see if we can’t get a little more information for you guys, but I wanted to let you know about this signing, especially since it doesn’t appear that anyone else has picked up on it yet.

Also, big thanks to J from Mariner Minors for doing a lot of the legwork on the research end.


44 Responses to “Mariners sign Jorge Campillo”

  1. troy on February 9th, 2005 9:52 am

    That’s alot of money for a 26 year-old righty who doesn’t strike out a ton of batters. Walk rate is phenomenal though. Still, this one’s a head scratcher for me. Does he project as a starter (that would be my guess) or reliever, or is it too soon to tell?

  2. Evan on February 9th, 2005 9:55 am

    So he already pitches like an old David Wells, but he’s right-handed. That could be weird/interesting.

  3. Dave C on February 9th, 2005 9:59 am

    Well the BP ’04 book considered him the third best pitcher in the Mexican league with a PERA of 4.19 and EqERA of 3.55, VORP of 25. Now would we wouldn’t complain about a signing like that if he was from the US minors or college would we?

  4. Pilots fan on February 9th, 2005 10:59 am

    I like the signing. Pitching, pitching, and more pitching. Dave C. (post #3) has the right view here.

    I’m interested to watch the Tacoma rotation at the beginning of the year — Hernandez, Baek, Nageotte, Blackley, and maybe this guy. Or might Rett Johnson or even Reichert be there?

    I like Baek more than most seem to — I think he has shown good maturity on the mound and seemed to really improve last year. If he improves as much this year as he did last, he will really be an asset.

  5. JC on February 9th, 2005 11:07 am

    The bonus sounds like it could be 80,000 to 100,000 grand ive never heard anyone ever giving a mexican league player that much at that age …maybe at 16-18 but not 26.

  6. Jim Thomsen on February 9th, 2005 12:09 pm

    As long as that’s his only similarity to David Wells …..

  7. David J Corcoran on February 9th, 2005 12:10 pm

    Veddy interesting. In my mind, he looks like a future middle reliever of some kind. Not too many home runs, good K/BB ratio, it would be interesting to see the quality of the defense he was playing behind. Was this an Olkin signing or a Bavasi/Looper/Pelekoudas signing? Because this seems like the kind of high-upside signing I like. I’m not sure he is worthy of the signing bonus, but his peripherals seem good enough that he may have a good future in a big league pen.

  8. Dave on February 9th, 2005 12:15 pm

    I’ve taken the reference to the signing bonus out, because that part of the detail is now in question. And this is a Matt Stark signing.

  9. David J Corcoran on February 9th, 2005 12:26 pm

    Pardon my stupidity, but who is Matt Stark? The Catcher? And does that make this a good or a bad thing?

  10. David J Corcoran on February 9th, 2005 12:26 pm

    Ah. Got it. Matt Stark signed him. That makes sense. Sorry about that.

  11. Evan on February 9th, 2005 1:24 pm

    What’s wrong with David Wells? I like David Wells.

  12. Evan on February 9th, 2005 1:25 pm

    And he strictly walks too many people to be David Wells, but the high K/BB ratio without velocity is Boomer’s M.O.

  13. eponymous coward on February 9th, 2005 2:20 pm

    Maybe he’s the older, Mexican, RH version of Travis Blackley.

  14. jason on February 9th, 2005 2:36 pm

    seriously, though, who’s matt stark? is that some inside joke or something?

  15. David J Corcoran on February 9th, 2005 2:43 pm

    I would guess he is the Mexico scout of the Mariners.

    I couldn’t figure it out at first either, but that is the best inference I can make.

    I asked if he was an Olkin signing (as in our stathead), and he replied It’s a Matt Stark signing.

  16. Graham on February 9th, 2005 2:45 pm

    Uh. Matt Stark is the international scouting supervisor. It says so in the post *points at post*.

    Unless I’m missing a joke as well.

  17. David J Corcoran on February 9th, 2005 2:51 pm

    Wow. I must be blind. I just saw that. I swear that wasn’t there the first time I posted my post.

    But lets get this back on topic. I don’t want to be accused of pulling a topic OT again…

  18. troy on February 9th, 2005 2:58 pm

    It’s been there the whole time.

  19. Ralph Malph on February 9th, 2005 3:08 pm

    It’s probably just me, but I find the Matt Stark comments very funny.

  20. David J Corcoran on February 9th, 2005 3:17 pm

    It’s not my fault I am the village [blogosphere] idiot, and I read selectively (I miss stuff)… Actually, before DMZ/Dave comes at me with “It is your fault. Being an idiot is a choice,” (or somethin like that) it is and you’re right.

    BTW, normally that would’ve been three comments (with this as a fourth). I am consolidaterizing!

  21. Jon Wells on February 9th, 2005 4:23 pm

    Interestingly, this snippet from an article on 3 days ago about the Caribbenan WS, had him possibly signing with Detroit.

    “I’m working hard to make it to the Major Leagues,” said Campillo, who could be going to the Detroit Tigers camp this spring. “I don’t know if I am good enough yet, but that’s what I dream about. link on Campillo

  22. bilbo on February 9th, 2005 5:07 pm

    Wow, thanks for the links Jon. Interesting to me that he pitched at 7000 ft in a hitters league and posted those numbers. It’ll be fun to see how he translates to MLB (or PCL).

  23. J on February 9th, 2005 5:10 pm

    Matt Stark is the scout the Mariners have assigned to handle Mexico. He came into the organization soon after Ron Hassey was named bench coach. It was probably under Hassey’s recommendations, as when Hassey was managing Albuquerque last season, Stark was his hitting coach.

  24. paul mocker on February 9th, 2005 5:14 pm

    3.55 Equivalent MLB ERA is appealing. I don’t know if Davenport’s Mexican League translations are as reliable as the minor league translations.

  25. Der Komminsk-sar on February 9th, 2005 6:46 pm

    Matt Stark, incidentally, was a pretty good hitting minor league catcher – not a lot of power, kind of slow, often stuck in bad hitting environments, not enough glove for the show – but he walked almost twice as often as he struck out and he hit for average. Worse players had signifcant big league careers (his lasted a few weeks).

  26. roger tang on February 9th, 2005 6:47 pm

    Given that he was pitching at altitide, is there a chance he’ll be more effective at sea level or lower? Give a chance for his breaking pitches to break more?

  27. J on February 9th, 2005 6:57 pm

    Not necessarily… when he was putting up his better numbers in the Mexican Pacific League this winter, he was doing so in stadiums that are all maybe 200 ft in altitude at the most. Now those regular Mexican League numbers… those are what happens when you play a mile up…

  28. Der Komminsk-sar on February 9th, 2005 7:02 pm says he’s 28 (R-R 6-1 170 8/10/76, #18).

  29. John Delahanty on February 9th, 2005 9:09 pm

    Matt Stark – If it’s who I think it is, he’s no one to fool around with. When he was a rookie, he took a seat–two seats–near the front of the bus. Some veteran got on, and said, “All rookies have to double up.” “Says who”? he asked.

  30. nathaniel on February 9th, 2005 11:32 pm

    The Rainier’s starting rotation wil almost certainly be Hernandez, Blackley, Nageotte, Baek and Dorman, at least to start out with. I believe the M’s have already said that Johnson will start out in AA, and that’s a good bet that both Campillo and Betancourt will start out there.

    Although whether Dorman or Campillo gets the nod at AAA could be up for grabs.

  31. Jon Wells on February 9th, 2005 11:47 pm

    John Hickey has a piece on Campillo in Thursday’s P-I in which he claims that Campillo is not yet signed and that there may be competition from Detroit. He also has quotes from Campillo that seem to have been taken verbatim from the MLB article I linked to earlier (without attribution). Hickey has no quotes that weren’t in the MLB article but he used every single word that Campillo was quoted as saying in the MLB article).

  32. J on February 10th, 2005 12:31 am

    That and he says the Tigres de Aragua had him in the regular season, which isn’t true because that team is in Venezuela and it was actually the Tigres de Angelopolis (end nerding).

    Also, the Culiacan site lists him as having a DOB of 8/10/78. Considering how messed up the rosters were at at times last season, I’m tempted to side with the Culiacan info.

  33. JPWodd on February 10th, 2005 8:16 am

    I found the most interesting thing about Hickey’s column to be that he obviously reads USSM or Lookout on a regular basis. What he’d read started motors, pushed him to call the FO.

  34. Brock on February 10th, 2005 9:49 am

    Well, I hope we gte him!

  35. PositivePaul on February 10th, 2005 11:41 am

    I found the most interesting thing about Hickey’s column to be that he obviously reads USSM or Lookout on a regular basis.

    I specifically asked such question on the pre-chat form. The first few times, being the long-winded bag of verbosity I am, it truncated my question (I HATE when stuff gets sucked into cyberspace so unsuspectedly!), so I got to the point the third time. We’ll see soon if he answers my question. I would think it would be an interesting sort of question for him to answer, but I’d suspect he’d be more likely to ignore it…

    I would honestly like to know what more entrenched professional sportswriters think about the blogs, be they more “reporters” or “columnists”.

    Bottom line — who do we, as purveyers of information specifically related to Mariners baseball, trust more? Newspaper/TV/Large-network-media-web-sites (generally motivated by profit, and keeping their day jobs) or the Blogs (generally motivated by distributing info, without depending on financial gain for their existence)???

    So what’s the deal, then. Is he signed or isn’t he???

  36. David J Corcoran on February 10th, 2005 11:45 am

    I want to know if the folks up top [i.e. Bavasi] are reading this stuff.

  37. David J Corcoran on February 10th, 2005 11:46 am

    Sorry, but:

    And if so, are they commenting under aliases?

  38. PositivePaul on February 10th, 2005 12:11 pm

    That was the first part of my long-winded question to Hickey…

    Here’s my quick summary of a section from the 11/11 Hot Stove League ( all of them are archived here: )

    Bavasi was asked if he reads the info posted on the Internet (~50:45), and pays attention to the rumors and other things that appear in the beat writers’ columns. Basically, Bavasi admitted that he reads the web all the time, and goes on to say that the M’s scouts are divided up into areas, and part of their responsibility is to read what the locals are saying about players. Of course, the time he spends on the web, I’m sure, is limited, but hey, let’s lift one up in hopes that he at least browses the blogosphere, and in particular, the more reputable USS Mariner at the very least.

    Hey — if the PI endorses the USS Mariner as “authoritative” then their info must be accurate, right?

    I still want to know if we’ve signed Camillo…

  39. Jerry on February 10th, 2005 9:00 pm

    I hope that they can sign this guy to a minor league contract. This would be another low cost, high upside deal for the M’s. It would give the M’s a really interesting group of invitees to spring training, with Camillo, Reichert, Sele, Franklin, Blackley, Nageotte, and Felix battling for the 5th spot in the rotation. Perhaps one of these guys would be a pleasant surprise.

  40. Darlene Kelly on February 11th, 2005 6:09 pm

    Lets hope the M’s front office is awaiting federal approval before making the signing announcement as in the Betancourt case. The guy is interesting and a minor league contract can do nothing but help either now or in a relatively short time.

  41. nathaniel on February 12th, 2005 12:45 am

    The Sporting News Guide for 2003 gives his stats as follows:

    ERA: 2.79
    IP: 119.1
    H: 116
    HR: 7
    BB: 30
    SO: 63

    Mexican League, Tigres.

    Nothing overpowering, but good numbers.

  42. J on February 12th, 2005 12:33 pm

    Considering a lot of the Mexican League parks are about a mile up or more, that is kind of promising. (Though the Mexican Pacific League parks, that is the winter ones, are mostly around sea level).

    I was just checking out the sources and it seems like the media in Mexico found the Hickey article and decided to ask Campillo about it. He said there’s some offers on the table, but he hasn’t decided yet.

  43. ken on February 12th, 2005 7:56 pm

    he isn`t singed yet

  44. Garfan on February 15th, 2005 2:42 am

    Well, someone light a fire under his ass and singe him.