Despite the player’s overall likability and amazing speed, the Chicago Cubs‘ decision to designate outfielder Tony Campana for assignment to make room for newcomer Scott Hairston was the right move. Campana became the unnecessary fifth outfielder when Hairston, a solid hitter with good power, was signed to a two year deal by the club.
Tony Campana, 26, doesn’t have the tools to be a long term force in the MLB. Aside from perhaps slightly above average defense, his speed is his only weapon. Campana has 54 stolen bases over two seasons in which he only had 317 at-bats, making him an ideal choice for a pinch runner, but little else. During these two years in the majors, Campana’s career OBP is a godawful .306, and his total OPS a miserably bad .605. Tony Campana’s numbers in the minor leagues were slightly better, with a career .301 AVG and .351 OBP, but if those are as good as it gets even in minor league play, there isn’t enough potential to justify keeping him around.
Although he is only 26, Campana would need a lot of work to get to the point where is even an average big league hitter, and jettisoning him from the roster now is the only reasonable action to take. Seeing a player steal a base as easily as Campana seems to be able to is a thrill, but big league rosters just don’t have enough space for a guy whose only use seems to be in stealing bases. Some other team will likely take a chance with the speedster, but the Cubs will be better off in the long term without him taking up a spot on the major league squad.