Tony Campana heads to Arizona, not for spring training with Cubs

Tony Campana takes his speed to the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2013. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Tony Campana is a fan favorite in Chicago, or I should say was a fan favorite. Campana was designated for assignment last week after the signing of Scott Hairston, another outfielder, left no room for the 26-year-old speedster on the 40-man roster. In Campana’s two partial seasons with the Cubs, he hit only .262 with an OBP of .306 and 73 strikeouts in 347 at-bats. What is Campana’s biggest asset? His incredible speed. However, the young center fielder’s challenge is he doesn’t get on base enough to utilize it.

In Campana’s 184 games at the major league level, he has stolen 54 bases in 59 attempts. Now, there are many teams out there, the Cubs included, that would love to have speed like that on the bases every day, however, Campana really struggles at times to get on base. With the right hitting coach and some time to work at it, Campana could become a huge threat both in the outfield and at the plate, but for right now, he is still a long way from being an elite player.

The Cubs got two players from the Diamondbacks in return for Campana, both of who could play big roles in the Cubs’ rebuild down the road. The key is neither will make an impact for a few years, since both are 17-year-old pitchers. Erick Leal and Jesus Castillo  were acquired from the Diamondbacks, and neither has played any professional ball other than in the Dominican Summer League, which is below rookie ball.

It will be interesting to see how this trade turns out for the Cubs, as Campana obviously has a big upside with his excessive speed. Let’s hope it works out for the best, not only for the Cubs, but also for Campana, who was going to see very limited playing time, if any, with the major league club this season. Tony Campana should play off the bench for the Diamondbacks this season, and I, and most Cubs fans out there, wish him luck in his career in Arizona.

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