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2015 Phillies Draft Preview: Dazmon Cameron, OF

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You might remember Daz's father Mike Cameron. Daz has been on the radar for a few years and long considered a top pick. Let's take a look and figure out what's all the fuss about?

Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

So what's all the fuss about? Well, Cameron is one of the rare gems who's a 5-tool player, a legit 5-tool guy. This begs the second question: If he's that good, why bother profiling a guy who will be a #1 overall pick? It's not quite that easy, as we'll discuss further down the article there are some questions. The top one seems to be about his motor. There's a long standing sense that Daz is so talented that he occasionally coasts. The problem being that no one can coast in pro-baseball, the competition is too strong and anyone coasting will get exposed and not get vaguely close to their ceiling.

Now, a bit more detail about Cameron. First he's a near dead ringer for his father. Mike played at 6'2" and ~200 lbs. Daz is listed at 6'1" and 185 lbs, and gaining 10 pounds or so as a pro isn't out of the question for a teenager still growing. He's an 18 year old Right handed hitting Center fielder who attends Eagle's Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, GA. He has a college commitment to Florida State University, which it's unlikely he'll never fulfill. He's a 5-tool prospect and we'll talk about them all, but it's best to start with the one we'll discuss the least, his arm. He's been clocked in the low-90's on his throws from the outfield, which gives him an above average arm (that could develop to plus as he fills out) and makes him a weapon in Center.

His hit tool gets solid reports (one scouting report noting it's better than his Father's, which seems like damning with faint praise since Mike wasn't exactly Ted Williams). I really like his swing. It's short, fast and efficient. He keeps the bat in the zone and seems to have a good eye. It's tough to tell with High School players who can often overmatch many opponents who won't even be able to make Division II or III College teams, but Cameron's Walk and K rates are close to even and sometimes his BB rate has actually exceeded his K rate (though in small samples). The Phillies of old (as in 2 or 3 years ago) had a reputation for drafting raw athletes and trying to teach them baseball and Cameron looks like the type of guy ht ePhillies would drool over. Cameron is well regarded for his baseball feel. He's not a multi sport star or workout warrior with suspect skills. The questions here largely seem to be motivation and effort. Those are big issues, but even the laziest of guys with plus hit tools still turn into Delmon Young, which is still a higher floor than most of the Phillies First Rounders the last decade plus. All this is to say, I really like Daz's hit tool. I think it ends up Plus or better and those guys can't be overlooked.

In the video below (courtesy of Prospect Pipeline) you can see an almost textbook perfect swing. Great bat speed, very quiet. Before the swing he has a little bat wiggle and a very small step, he doesn't leave much opportunity for his timing to get thrown off and the limited complexity and speed can allow him to wait a fraction of a second longer to start his swing and recognize pitches without having to adjust or just plain guess. He stands taller with a narrower stance than JP Crawford, but his mechanics remind me a little of JP. JP takes a very small step and has a little wiggle in his bat before his swing, but very little to complicate, which allows him to wait on Pitches. I actually like Daz's swing more than Crawford's, he has better bat speed and a shorter path to the ball, as JP actually holds the bat pretty high in his stance. As a hitter he's probably going to put up a line similar to Crawford's but slightly higher average and better power. Of course, he was already expected to be showing more of that power as he looked like a superstar at 15/16 years old, but has kind of stagnated a bit since. It's possible the power never develops, but if he can make the kind of contact I think he can, no one's going to complain about a CF putting up a .290/.380/.440 line, with plus defense that's a 4-5 WAR player.

One other thing you can see in the video is Cameron running (#3 on the right about half a minute into the video). He looks graceful enough, but generally looks like he coasts or glides. He's a long-strider with some build up time. I don't expect he'll be a terror on the basepaths, but he'll have the speed for Center and enough speed to swipe a few bags and not clog up the bases. Reports seem to indicate his speed is above-average, which is enough for Center, his Father was a premier defender in Center with similar speed, so it's not anything I'd worry about.

Just because I love watching these videos, below is Daz at the 2014 USA Baseball Tournament of Stars taking BP. Prepare to be mesmerized by the consistent swing and contact. This is an oddly fun video to me.

I'll be fairly stunned if Cameron's actually available when the Phillies pick 10th, especially with recent injuries to 2 projected Top 10 Pitchers in Aiken and Matuella. That said, some recent mocks have had him that low and I did not expect Crawford to last to 15 a few years back. I'll be absurdly excited if Daz ends up a Phillies' prospect.