Breakdown of Arkansas SP Isaiah Campbell

Arkansas’ Isaiah Campbell will get the start vs. FSU on Saturday night, toeing the rubber for his 18th start of the year. The big righty will be making his 3rd career start in Omaha, after making 2 starts as Arkansas’ number 3 starter last season. Campbell ended UF’s season in 2018 as the Hogs moved onto the CWS Final, before taking home the loss in the Hogs’ fatal game 3 against Oregon State. In 2 career starts in Omaha, the redshirt junior has worked 7.1 innings and given up 4 earned runs. This year, the Kansas native comes in as Arkansas’ ace. The RHP was drafted in the 24th round of the 2018 draft but decided to stick with Dave Van Horn and the Hogs instead of signing with the Los Angeles Angels. The move paid off for Isaiah, as he became one of the best pitchers in the nation this year and was drafted 76th overall by the Seattle Mariners.

The 6’4, 225 starter posted a 2.26 ERA in 111.1 IP this season. The Hogs put up a remarkable record of 14-3 in his starts this year, while Campbell only had 1 loss on his line compared to 12 wins. Campbell has put up an unreal K-BB ratio of 5.75-1 this year, with 115 strikeouts and 20 walks. The big righty is one of the most polished college pitchers in baseball with a 4 pitch arsenal and the ability to throw all 4 for strikes. Campbell isn’t the most powerful or flashy pitcher, but he rarely beats himself. He attacks the hitter with first pitch strikes and a quick tempo and rhythm that keeps him going. Campbell keeps the hitters off the ball by never leaving anything flat in the zone, while all his pitches (including the fastball), have a good amount of movement. So far this postseason, he has allowed just 3 runs in 16.1 IP. FSU has a tough task ahead of them, but they’ve already shown that they can produce against anyone on any given day.

For his size, Campbell doesn’t have the most powerful fastball, but it’s as effective as any in the country. His fastball will sit 90-92 while topping out at 94 with lots of sinking action. Campbell loves his fastballs against lefties as he starts it at the hip and tails it back to the inside corner, or he starts down the heart of the plate before it tails off the outside corner. The redshirt junior will ride the FB up in the zone with two strikes to get strikeouts while throwing down to below the knees when he’s in trouble for double plays. Look for Campbell to attack lefties with fastballs throughout the night.

Campbell FB

The splitter is a pitch that you don’t often see in college, but Campbell has polished his splitter into one of the best off speeds in college baseball. The splitter is the righty’s favorite off speed, as he will use it against righties and lefties. The splitter is an unpredictable pitch, as it will sometimes drop off the table while other times it will tail like the fastball. Campbell’s splitter will be a key to the outcome of Saturday’s game. If he has it, he will keep FSU hitters off balance all night. If not, it may be another productive game for FSU’s bats.

Campbell SPL

The Arkansas ace loves to use his slider against right-handed batters. The slider, which sits 82-83, has a sharp bite to it and is very hard for righties to read off the fastball. The slider and fastball work perfectly off each other, splitting into two separate directions halfway to the plate. He won’t use it often against lefties, but the pitch will be in the back of FSU hitters minds and create some off-balanced swings throughout the night.

Campbell SL

Like some of the LSU pitchers last week, Campbell has a 12-6 curveball. The curve isn’t as loopy as others in college baseball, but the tight spin still buckles a lot of hitters knees, just see the pitch below. The CB will come in at 78-79 MPH, and the righty will mostly use it against lefties when he is up in the count. The redshirt junior can also throw it for an early get me over pitch as he mixes his first pitches between fastballs and off-speed pitches.

Campbell CB

Campbell is not a pitcher that will beat himself, or give up the big hit, as he has only allowed 5 HR’s on the season, but the Noles aren’t up to as big of a task as they have been in recent weeks. The Arkansas ace won’t overpower the Noles, rather he will try to out-execute them. FSU has feasted on a lot of pitchers’ pitch counts this year, working long at-bats and wearing out pitchers, but I wouldn’t expect that approach against Campbell. The righty is a very efficient pitcher that will rarely allow free passes. If FSU can be aggressive within the zone early in counts, FSU could put up some numbers in their first game of the 2019 CWS. With the right game plan, hitting approach, and execution, no pitcher is unhittable, FSU has already proven that this postseason.

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