And now I must eat my metaphorical hat, because I poo-pooed the AFL musings of a colleague who hadn't been following the league as closely as I. Like Russell Brand, I do not feel shame, but this is a matter of public record, so let me set it straight.
About two weeks ago the Tao of Stieb speculated that semi-Canadian Scott Campbell, who had logged some innings at the hot corner for the Phoenix Desert Dogs, might be tagged as Scott Rolen's replacement in 2010. I commented that it wasn't worth reading much into Campbell's sojourn around the Arizona infield because the Dogs were just looking to get him ABs with Twins 2B prospect Steve Tolleson in the mix for playing time.
And predictably Kevin Czerwinski of mlb.com breaks the news today there is indeed a position change in the works. Plagiarizing liberally:
"He's played second base for us and we've been talking about him playing third base," said Toronto's director of player development Dick Scott. "He's been playing it out here and he's acclimating [sic] himself nicely. Defensively, he gets the job done. He's a max effort guy defensively, but only because he lacks experience over there...
"And the transition [to third] will help because his bat has been played everywhere he's been. He was an inexperienced guy who played in the Midwest League in '07. But we were talking about different scenarios for second base at Double-A during Spring Training and his name kept coming up. We were a little concerned about whether he was going to hit there, but that's all he did. He really surprised us offensively...
"He has a fine arm, plenty of strength," Scott said. "I think third base might be his best position down the road. I think he has a chance to be a pretty good third baseman."
It's entirely possible that the organization is confident Aaron Hill will be healthy and ready to rock in 2009, which would make Campbell a blocked prospect for the foreseeable future. That would be doubly sweet; we need Hill back in 2007 form and Campbell's bat looks solid enough to carry him to the bigs.
And, as Will informed you, the Jays have some nice-looking prospects at third, but none of the more exciting ones (Ahrens, Fuenmayor, Sobolewski) should be expected to hit the bigs before 2012 at the earliest. There's a window of opportunity there for Campbell at third in the horizon, let's hope he makes the most of it.
-- Johnny Was