Silvestre Diaz Campusano. It is a beautiful name that rolls off the tongue. Judging from the photo above, he was a beautiful man in his prime, with a glorious moustache. He was born in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, a beautiful place for baseball players.
Unfortunately Sil Campusano did not play beautiful baseball.
Signed by the Jays as an amateur free agent in 1983, Sil went straight to the minor leagues in 1984. He actually enjoyed a very productive season in ’85 split between single-A Florence and double-A Knoxville (.310 average, .510 SLG, 21 HR) that had people talking – or whispering – that he might be a potential replacement for George Bell.
But a replacement he was not. He did nothing of any value in the minor leagues ever again, yet somehow his .210 average with a .258 slugging percentage, 0 HR and 0 RBI earned him a call-up to the big leagues.
Sil made his debut in 1988 and was terrifically bad. He managed to last with Toronto for 73 games putting up numbers that must have made fans feel ill. He did not hit for average (.218). He did not hit for power (.641 OPS, 2 HR). He did not get on base (.282 OBP, 9 walks in 158 plate appearances). He showed no speed (o SB). He struck out a lot (33 times, over 20% of his plate appearances). And on top of it all he couldn’t field. He played all three outfield positions making at least one error in each. The only thing of interest on his baseball reference page is that he finished 5th in the AL in most errors committed as a centre fielder. Amazing.
He was so bad that advanced baseball statistics (specifically wins above replacement (WAR)) give him a negative value, meaning any random minor league player was actually BETTER than Sil. Poor guy.
But for some reason another team wanted him. The Phillies claimed him in the Rule 5 draft in 1989, officially ending his career with the Blue Jays. He played parts of two seasons with Philadelphia, and it was there that he enjoyed the crowning achievement of his career – breaking up a Doug Drabek no-hit bid with two outs in the ninth.
His final big league season was 1991, after which he rode off into the sunset. While he succeeded in his native Dominican Republic and in China after his MLB days, he didn’t accomplish much during his brief stay at the top. He never made the playoffs, he never contributed much to his teams, and sadly even in his post-playing days he can’t catch a break. Campusano has quite possibly the worst Wikipedia write-up in history, ending with the words “he was a very happy player.”
With stats like he had, staying happy just might be his biggest accomplishment of all.
Sil Campusano: Career Major League Statistics
3 seasons (1988 – 1991)
2 teams (TOR, PHI)
.202 average, 5 HR, 23 RBI, 26 R, 1 SB, .584 OPS
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