When a minor league prospect is ignored by the industry, what should we do? Meet Noah Cameron.
- Born: July 17, 1999
- B/T: Left/Left
- 6’3″, 220-lbs
- Drafted by the Kansas City Royals in the 2021 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Central Arkansas
His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:
If you look at the chart above as if it’s a linear progression, you’d think he struggled at Rookie ball, then did better at Single-A and then truly came alive at High-A.
Uh, no. Sorta. Let’s break it down by month and you can see the journey Noah Cameron took this year:
APR: Walked too many at Single-A, didn’t strike out enough.
MAY: Found his control, struck out everyone. So up to High-A he goes. Does even better.
JUN: Cruising along, then on July 4th or so he gets injured. I cannot find out what the injury was, but he loses six weeks, then comes back and does injury rehab in Rookie ball.
AUG: Dominates Rookie ball, goes back to High-A and dominates them too, even more.
SEP: Well, it’s just two innings, but he clearly can strike ’em out.
In Single-A against RHB he struck out 31% and walked 8%.
In Single-A against LHB he struck out 43% and walked 9%.
In High-A against RHB he struck out 46% and walked 5%.
In High-A against LHB he struck out 29% and walked 6%.
Interestingly he faced exactly 93 batters in both Single-A and High-A. I don’t see much of a split pattern other than to generalize he walks righties more than lefties, but he strikes everyone out.
- Rotowire: Not on their Top 400
- Fantrax: Not on their Top 400
- Fantasy Six Pack: Not on their Fantasy Baseball Prospect Top 407
- Imaginary Brick Wall: Not on their Top 472
Welp, we get no help from the scouts. We are on our own here.
He hasn’t faced Double-A bats yet.
He had Tommy John surgery before he was drafted, and then he missed six weeks this year for some unexplained reason.
So what can we find out about Noah Cameron? Let’s ask the Royals Farm Report:
“Cameron struggled with walks in his first couple of starts in April, but May has been a complete 180. Cameron has given up one earned run in 9.2 innings while striking out 14 and only walking one. In his most recent start on May 4th, Cameron was perfect. He went five innings pitched with seven strikeouts. Unfortunately, the feed didn’t have velocities, but he was able to command his fastball in the zone.He did a great job at just pounding the strike zone and was able to keep hitters off balance by mixing his pitches. His changeup looked as advertised. It had great deception and helped him overpower hitters with his fastball.. His curveball showed some good break, but was average. More loopy than a tight break. Cameron will be an interesting one to watch as he develops this year, especially if he is able to gain some more velocity on his fastball.”— RoyalFarmsReport.com May 12, 2022
His FB velocity, they said, is up to 94mph, which for a lefty is fine. Obviously more velocity is better. He’s 6’3″, 222 pounds, so the velocity could increase even more.
A couple of months later the site said this:
The Central Arkansas product has a small sample size so he has yet to make it into MLB Pipeline’s Top 30 Royals prospects, but there is a very good chance he will be in there come their update. Cameron sits in the low 90s with his fastball that he pairs with an above-average change-up that sits in the low-80s. He has an average curveball that gives him a decent three pitch mix. While none of his pitches are plus, he has good deception between his fastball and change and just has a highly repeatable delivery that allows him to pound the strike zone. His stuff makes him more of a floor than ceiling type prospect, but you have to love what you have seen so far.
Cameron fits the mold of the pitchers the Royals took in this 2022 draft. Athletic on the mound, with a solid pitch mix, and ability to throw strikes. The Royals took guys like Ryan Ramsey out of Maryland this year that fit the mold of Noah Cameron. Cameron will have success at the lower levels being a guy with a low-90s fastball with solid secondaries. He may face more struggles and see less strikeouts as he moves up in the system, sort of like Drew Parrish has, which will limit his ceiling unless he finds some upticks in velocity. You can almost see Cameron being a Parrish 2.0. Left handed, mid-round draft pick with average to above average stuff that could possibly play at the big league level.”RoyalFarmsReport.com July 27, 2022
So he has a three-pitch mix, none of which are plus pitches, but it’s enough for him to reach the majors as a lefty.
We expect this type to carve up the lower levels, and he has. The key for Cameron is if he comes out of the gate in 2023 at Double-A and shows a) the same level of dominance (probably not); and b) the same level of control (he might).
If he cruises through the upper levels the way he carved up the lower levels, he will jump onto everyone’s lists. Conversely if he strikes out only 20% while walking 10%, everyone will yawn and continue ignoring him.
Next move is yours, Noah Cameron. Show ’em what you got next year and you’ll become a hot commodity.