This article is about the baseball player. For the musician, see Shawn Camp (musician).
Shawn Anthony Camp (born November 18, 1975) is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played 11 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Kansas City Royals, Tampa Bay Devil Rays, Toronto Blue Jays, Chicago Cubs, and Philadelphia Phillies.
Camp began his baseball career as a catcher at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia. He graduated from high school in 1994 and continued as a backstop in college while attending George Mason University, the school from which he would be drafted. Struggling to hit collegiate pitching, Camp converted to a pitcher at George Mason with the help of then Patriots assistant baseball coach Dayton Moore.
San Diego Padres:
Camp was drafted in the sixteenth round of the 1997 amateur entry draft by the San Diego Padres; the five hundredth overall selection of that year's draft. The newly converted reliever steadily climbed the ranks of the Padres' minor league system, collecting 25 saves in his first two years of professional baseball.
On July 10, 2001, Camp was dealt to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for outfielder Emil Brown. He continued to advance in the minors, receiving an invitation to the Pirates spring training camp in 2003. Failing to make the major league team, however, Camp was granted free agency by Pittsburgh at the end of the season.
Kansas City Royals:
In 2004 Camp joined the Kansas City Royals organization. Signed by his former college coach and current Royals general manager Dayton Moore, Camp finally made his first major league roster. Camp made his major league debut on Opening Day, April 5. Facing the Chicago White Sox, Camp allowed two runs in two innings of work. He remained a semi-regular contributor to the Royals bullpen that season and in 2005, working primarily in middle and long relief, while shuttling between Kansas City and Triple-A Omaha.
Tampa Bay Rays:
Camp was granted free agency after the 2005 season, and signed with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. From 2006 to 2007 Camp was a mainstay in the Devil Rays' beleaguered bullpen, amassing 75 appearances in 2006, second most in the American League. Control problems hampered Camp's success in Tampa Bay and his final year in Kansas City, however, and the righty struggled to poor ERAs of 6.43, 4.68 and 7.20 respectively from 2005 to 2007. Camp had particular trouble with preventing inherited runners from scoring, allowing over forty percent (22 of 54) of runners on base to reach home in his final season with the Devil Rays.
Toronto Blue Jays:
Camp signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays prior to the 2008 season. Prepared with a new pitch, a changeup, Camp excelled at Triple-A Syracuse and was recalled by Toronto soon after breaking camp. Limiting right-handed hitters to a paltry .204 batting average, Camp helped the Blue Jays staff to team ERA of 3.49, best in all of Major League Baseball that season. In 2009 Camp led the Blue Jays relief corp with a career best 79⁄3 innings pitched, while tallying a career high 58 strikeouts.
On February 6, 2012, Camp signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners. However, a month later, the Mariners released Camp prior to the start of the season as they were eyeing youth.
On March 26, 2012, the Chicago Cubs signed Camp to a minor league deal. During the 2012 season, Camp pitched 77⁄3 innings in a league-leading 80 appearances for the Cubs. He accrued a record of 3-6, with 2 saves and a 3.59 ERA.
On November 19, 2012, Camp and the Cubs agreed to a one-year, $1.35 million contract that includes $200,000 in possible incentives. Camp pitched in 14 games in April, going 1-1 with 8 run in 11⁄3 innings. In 5 games in May, he gave up 6 runs in 5⁄3 innings. On May 22, Camp was placed on the disabled list after spraining his toe, and he was replaced by Rafael Dolis. After a rehab assignment in Single-A Kane County, he returned to the Cubs on June 15. In 6 games in June, he gave up 4 runs in 6⁄3 innings. He was designated for assignment on July 3, 2013. He was released 4 days later. In 26 games with the Cubs in 2013, he went 1-1 with a 7.04 ERA and 4 holds, striking out 13 in 23 innings.
Camp signed a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks on July 17, 2013. He was assigned to Triple-A Reno, where he pitched in 17 games to end the season. With the Aces in 2013, he had a 2.42 ERA, striking out 19 in 22⁄3 innings. After the year, he was a minor league free agent.
On November 11, 2013, Camp signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. He was outrighted to the Triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs on May 8, 2014. Camp elected free agency the next day. He re-signed on a minor league deal on May 15, 2014, and was released by Lehigh Valley on June 27.
On March 9, 2015, Camp announced his retirement.
Camp was primarily a sinkerballer, throwing his 87-90 mph sinker about half the time. His other pitches included a slider (78-80) and a changeup (81-83). He tended to start with sinkers early in the at-bat and worked in more sliders later.