When you come to Texas to play sports, the expectations are always high. For former Strake Jesuit outfielder Dylan Campbell, meeting expectations hasn’t been a problem.
The sweet-hitting, fielding vacuum just put together a junior season for the ages, and despite his dropped fly ball in the lights against Stanford in the Super Regionals which cost his team a trip to its third consecutive College World Series, Campbell is taking it all in stride.
During a recent interview with The Defender, Campbell talked about his experience in Austin.
“It’s been absolutely amazing. Not everybody in their first two years of college gets to go to the College World Series two years in a row. That has been outstanding for me to be a part of. Last year, I was fortunate enough to play in it.
“It’s surreal. You don’t really know what you are getting into until you are in the mix and in it every single day. Then you realize how special it is.”
— Roger Wallace (@rwallacekxan) June 13, 2023
Campbell’s 2023 Season Was For The Ages: 38-Game Hit Streak
Coming into the 2023 season, Campbell had lofty goals for himself and his Longhorns team, and let’s just say he shattered those personal goals.
All Campbell did in 2023 was record a 38-game hitting streak that started in March and didn’t come to an end until this past weekend’s Super Regional game against the Stanford Cardinal.
While Campbell’s hitting streak ended, the dynamic outfielder extended his on-base streak. On May 7th, Campbell broke the Longhorns record with a hit in 26 consecutive games, and he followed that up by breaking the Big 12 record with his 36th game with a base knock in the NCAA Regional against Louisiana. Despite all his personal accolades and accomplishments, Campbell says he’s focused on winning, and not personal streaks.
“Honestly, I feel like the mindset has really been trying not to focus on that or any of my individual accolades and accomplishments,” said Campbell, who led the team with a .339 batting average, 82 hits, and 26 stolen bases on the year. “I feel like the most important thing is trying to win for the team. I think it will just take care of itself honestly. Where I’m at, I feel like I should be able to produce for our team offensively. If I’m not trying to do that it will take care of itself if we are just focused on winning the game.”
Campbell also ended the season with a perfect fielding percentage, showing off his array of skills.
Will Campbell Enter 2023 MLB Draft?
After a season like the one Campbell just put together, the big question is whether he will enter the draft or opt for another season with the Longhorns. Campbell says it’s something he’s been mildly contemplating.
“I have thought about it a little, but I try to limit myself to thinking about so far ahead and just worrying about the present because we are at a crucial part of our season right now,” said Campbell, whose father, Donovan, played baseball at Texas Southern, and was drafted by the Atlanta Braves organization in 1988. “I really don’t know yet. I haven’t thought too much about it or talked to my family about whether it’s going to be going to the draft or coming back next year or going to play summer ball. We haven’t put too much thought into that. It will all work out however it’s supposed to work out.”
Behind Campbell’s play, the Longhorns finished 42-21, winning a share of the Big 12 title regular-season title.
Campbell is the most complete player in the entire Big 12, and the Longhorns can only hope that he returns for the 2024 season. If not, he’s made quite an impression on MLB teams and scouts as the 2023 MLB Draft approaches.