Left-hander Matt Campbell was drafted in the first round in 2004 (29th overall) by the Royals coming off a successful three year career at the University of South Carolina. He signed for $1.1 million. During his junior year as a Gamecock, he was named an All-American by Baseball America. He also won a game in the College World Series as a freshman in 2002.
Campbell’s Royals career was much shorter than his collegiate career. He started his professional career with rookie level Idaho Falls in 2004 (four starts and an 8.44 ERA). After 13 games (12 starts) in 2005 with Low-Burlington, Campbell had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum that forced him to miss the 2006 season.
Campbell tried to make a comeback in 2007, but only made 16 appearances. He then called it quits after making one start in High-A (the highest level he ever pitched).
In a 2008 interview with The State, Campbell said that he never really got back to 100 percent after his shoulder surgery.
“There were times when I felt great and felt like I could make a comeback, but after a few outings my arm would just break down on me again. I never really stayed healthy long enough to do anything with it.”
He went on to say that he never really figured out how he injured his shoulder (however it is a common predicament for collegiate hurlers):
“After throwing all those years, you can’t really put your finger on one thing that did it,” he said. “I never could really get used to it the five-day rotation in the minor leagues, my arm just couldn’t keep up.”
Campbell returned to the Columbia campus in the fall of 2008 to finish his sports management degree.
In a 2011 interview with SB Nation’s Garnet & Black Attack, Campbell said he was working with his dad in the construction business, which specializes in asphalt and concrete. It is a good interview to read Campbell talk about his college days and his favorite baseball moment of his career (the Pan-American Games in the Dominican Republic).