Houston Astros’ outfield prospect Daz Cameron is quiet, laid back and reserved when you speak with him. On the field, his skills speak loud and clear. Cameron was born with baseball in his blood. The son of former All-Star outfielder Mike Cameron, big expectations have been placed on his shoulders.
Being the son of a former major leaguer comes with an elevated pressure to carry on the family legacy, but it also has its perks. What better resource to have than a father who spent 17 seasons in the big leagues, earned three Gold Gloves and had an All-Star appearance along the way. He grew up watching his father on the field and observing how he handled himself in the clubhouse.
“He’s helped me transition in every area of my game. He’s already done it,” Cameron said during the season.
Daz Cameron entered the 2016 season with an assignment to Houston’s Class A affiliate Quad Cities. His first full season bid would be cut short after batting .143 with an on-base percentage of .221 in just 77 at-bats. The Astros’ development staff made the decision to send Cameron down to Short Season Tri-City.
When he arrived at “The Joe,” Cameron was focused on making improvements on his overall game.
“I’m still working on all areas of my game. I should always have something to work on.”
In batting practice or during the game, his quick hands and gap-to-gap power were apparent. When asked about keeping his approach at the plate simple, Cameron replied, “See ball, hit [the] ball. Square it up. That’s what it’s all about. You at least try and square the ball up two times a game.”
His strategy was working, as evidenced by the rise in not only his batting average (.278) but his OBP (.352), and he was now slugging .418.
On the base paths, he has no fear of using his speed and aggressiveness to advance, causing opposing teams to take notice. Although, at times, Cameron’s competitiveness would come at the cost of being caught.
“As a base stealer, you need to be aggressive and learn from your mistakes to be a better base stealer,” said Cameron.
Things were progressing well, until he was struck by a pitch in his first at-bat against the State College Spikes on July 7. The result was a broken left index finger that ended his season.
I had the opportunity to speak with and watch Daz Cameron play in several New York-Penn League games in 2016. However, at just 20-years-old, there is still plenty of time for him to refine his exciting skillset. The key with Cameron is patience. A trip to Tri-City was a turning point last season, and there are plenty of reasons to believe he’s going to continue making progress in 2017.