The Astros got a haul early in the 2015 Draft, taking future big leaguers Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker within the top five picks before selecting Cameron at No. 37 overall and signing him for $4 million. The son of former Gold Glove center fielder Mike Cameron, Daz has had a streaky Minor League career, struggling in his first full season in 2016 and again for part of 2017 before things clicked, eventually, landing him in the Tigers organization as part of the Justin Verlander trade return. After a 2018 season that saw him advance to Triple-A Toledo at age 21, Cameron made an impression on Tigers coaches in Spring Training. But just when he seemed on the brink of the big leagues, his struggles returned with a long full season in Toledo.
The younger Cameron’s game bears a lot of similarities to that of his father. He’s a very good athlete whose strength on the diamond is in his defense, where he can command a game from center field. His offense has been more of a work in progress. While he shows a selective approach at the plate, he puts himself in difficult counts at times, resulting in high strikeout totals as he has advanced levels. Though he draws a healthy number of walks, he struggled in 2019 to make contact, partly a reflection of pitch recognition. His speed and line-drive approach make him a strong candidate to take advantage of Comerica Park’s deep outfield gaps. Surprisingly, he had 16 hit-by-pitches last year.
While Cameron’s 2019 season was disappointing, the Tigers are willing to chalk it up to the growing pains of a young player who jumped three levels the previous year. He has the speed and athleticism to handle center field at Comerica Park, which affords him some patience. All he needs is more consistent contact at the plate.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 50 | Run: 60 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 50
The Astros made a haul early in the 2015 Draft, taking future big leaguers Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker within the top five picks before selecting Cameron at No. 37 overall and signing him for $4 million. Viewed as someone who might need extra time to develop in the Minors, Cameron was overmatched in his first taste of full-season ball in 2016, and he also struggled at the outset of 2017 before things started to click. He was finishing off a fantastic second half in the Midwest League when the Astros packaged him with Franklin Perez and Jake Rogers to the Tigers for Justin Verlander. He began to put it all together in 2018, ascending from high Class A to Triple-A at age 21 before a standout turn in the Arizona Fall League.
The son of former big league center fielder Mike Cameron, Daz has the chance to be an impactful up-the-middle big leaguer as well. Mechanical changes that put him in a better position to hit made a huge difference and contributed directly to his turnaround at the plate. Perhaps more importantly, Cameron has developed a real approach at the plate, showing selective aggressiveness with a hit-to-all fields mentality early in the count. He's started to tap into some power, too, and some scouts believe he'll be a 15-20-homer guy in the big leagues.
A plus runner and overall graceful athlete, Cameron can steal a base but will have to learn to be more efficient in the future. That speed to go along with plus defensive instincts will allow him to stay in center for the long haul, and he has the arm strength needed for an outfield corner. Cameron's ceiling is still coming into focus, but all the pieces are there for him to develop into an everyday center fielder at the highest level.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 55 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50
In the 2015 Draft, the Astros drafted Alex Bregman, who has a World Series ring, and Kyle Tucker, now one of the game's better prospects, in the top five picks. They saved enough money to also ink Cameron to a $4 million deal at pick No. 37. Overmatched when he gave full-season ball a try in 2016, he also struggled at the outset of 2017 before things started to click. He was finishing off a fantastic second half when he was dealt to the Tigers at the end of August in the Justin Verlander blockbuster.
The son of former big league center fielder Mike Cameron, Daz has the chance to be an impactful up-the-middle big leaguer as well. Mechancial changes that put him in a better position to hit made a huge difference and contributed directly to his turnaround at the plate. He improved his overall approach and has the chance to hit for average and could approach average power. He's not a burner, but likes to run and can steal a base, though he'll have to learn to be more efficient in the future. That speed to go along with plus defensive instincts will allow him to stay in center for the long haul.
The Tigers barely got to see Cameron following the trade, though he impressed with his work ethic and attitude at instructs. They're hopeful his second half resurgence in 2017 is just the start for him as he begins his Tigers career in earnest.
Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 45 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50
As a high school sophomore, Cameron emerged as a candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2015 Draft. In the next two years, scouts cooled a bit on the son of former All-Star and Gold Glover Mike Cameron, but he still landed a $4 million bonus as a supplemental first-round pick. He looked overmatched in low Class A in 2016 and for the first two months of 2017 before starting to get going at the plate in June. He was putting the finishing touches on a huge second half when he was dealt to the Tigers in the Justin Verlander trade.
With his compact right-handed stroke and line-drive approach, Cameron has the upside of a solid hitter with perhaps average power once he gets stronger and pulls more pitches. Smoothing out his swing and making mechanical changes to put him in a better position to hit allowed him to start realizing his potential. For what it's worth, his father didn't do much in his first four pro seasons and wound up playing 17 years in the big leagues.
Cameron has a chance to contribute in all phases of the game, standing out the most with his defensive ability in center field. He has good speed, outstanding defensive instincts and an average arm that should allow him to play all three outfield spots. He has some feel for stealing bases but also some room for improvement after getting caught in just over 28 percent of his attempts during his first three pro seasons.
Scouting grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 50 | Run: 55 | Arm: 50 | Field: 60 | Overall: 50
The son of former All-Star and Gold Glover Mike Cameron, Daz first surfaced as a candidate to go No. 1 overall in the 2015 Draft when he was a high school sophomore. His expensive price tag eventually dropped him all of the way out of the first round last June, allowing the Astros to nab him with the 37th overall selection and a $4 million bonus. His first full year as a pro didn't go as hoped, with Cameron struggling in low Class A and then breaking his left index finger following a demotion, ending his season in early July.
Though Cameron's ceiling doesn't enthuse scouts as much as it did when he was younger, he still profiles as a center fielder who could have solid tools across the board. Because he grew up around baseball, he has a high floor with more polish than most players his age and good instincts in all phases of the game. His best attribute is his center-field defense, which might earn him a Gold Glove of his own one day.
Cameron has a quick, compact right-handed stroke and an all-fields, line-drive approach. He should develop average power once he adds strength and turns on pitches more frequently. His speed earns solid to plus grades and he has the instincts to steal bases.