Top-10 Player Profiles of 2018: No. 6 Jacob Campbell

By Andy Sroka
Staff Writer

Jacob Campbell, a Janesville Craig product, was selected in the 36th round of the 2018 MLB Draft by the Chicago Cubs, but opted to hold true on his commitment to the University of Illinois, where he has a chance to make an early impact on both sides of the ball. His status as one of the top-ranked backstops in the region, and has buzz as a potential draftee, helped him to become the No. 6 most-viewed profile on our countdown.

The Illini backstop is a physical catcher who’s an especially advanced defender. He explodes out of the crouch to produce throws down to second that are capable of topping 87 mph, as evidenced by his performance at last February’s Super 60. In the batter’s box, Campbell uses his physicality to generate hard gap-to-gap contact off a level plane. He was arguably the top recruit headed to Champaign that heralded a No. 22 recruiting class ranking by


Jacob Campbell

Class of 2018 / C

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2018
  • Primary Position: C
    Secondary Position: OF
  • High School: Janesville Craig
    State: WI
  • Summer Team: Hitters
  • Height: 6-0
    Weight: 200lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R


1.87 - 1.94
Pop Time
C Velo
Exit Velo

Scouting Report

6/6/18 - Drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 36th Round.

5/5/18 - Illinois commit. No. 2 ranked prospect in Wisconsin’s Class of 2018, No. 101 Overall. 6-foot, 200-pound, muscular, durable frame, defined lower half and advanced forearm/hand strength. Continued to solidify himself as one top catchers in the the 2018 class with a strong defensive showing on Saturday afternoon. With plus arm strength behind the plate (87 mph at the Super 60), routinely put throws at infielder's chests from knees and out of chute during pregame. Repeats a short arm action from over-the-top slot, throws carry with ease. Advanced footwork, powerful first movements, stays low, gains ground, consistent, pop time ranging between 1.95-1.98 in between innings, popped a 1.79 during pregame. Defensive reputation preceded him as opposition running game was immediately shut down. Was not afraid to throw behind runners at any base, kept runners honest. Moves athletically behind the plate, blocks everything he can get to and keeps it within arms reach. Strong receiver, natural movement, remains quiet. Offensively, right-handed hitter, crouched, slightly open setup, short stride, hands load back smoothly, good balance throughout. Level barrel path, gap-to-gap type hitter. Saw nothing but fastballs and breaking balls away. Recognized this early on, making hard contact to the opposite field in three of four at-bats. Still much more strength to be incorporated to the opposite field. Finished game 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly, was robbed of a hit on a diving play by the right fielder.

2/4/18 - Illinois recruit. 6-foot, 200-pound right-handed hitting catcher, muscular, durable frame with defined lower half and extremely strong forearms/hands. Established himself as one of the top defensive catchers in the Midwest, if not the country. Showed plus arm strength, registering an event-best 87-mph from the crouch, which tied the all-time Super 60 record with former first-rounder Justin O'Conner (Cowan HS, IN; 2009). Advanced, directional footwork, athletic out of the chute, stays low, gains ground well; consistent strikes on the bag, pop times ranging between 1.86-1.94. Athleticism shined in the 60, running a 6.87, laser-timed. Did not hit at the Super 60 due to an injured hand, but can safely say that his bat is on par with his defensive prowess.

8/9/16 - Verbally committed to Illinois. 



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