Detroit — Since collecting his $2.85 million signing bonus from the Tigers in July 2019, 17-year-old outfield prospect Roberto Campos has bought his parents a home near the Tigers’ baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. He’s worked out nearly every day, refined his diet and transformed some of the baby fat on his 6-3, 200-pound frame into lean muscle.
He also watched with immense pride his idol and Cuban countryman Jose Abreu win American League MVP honors. He was locked in on the White Sox playoff run, too, because another of his heroes, Luis Robert, was a big part of their success.
The one thing he hasn’t done, not since early March when COVID-19 shut everything down, is play competitive baseball.
“It’s been both good and bad,” Campos said through Tigers interpreter Carlos Guillen in a Zoom call Thursday. “The good side of it, it’s been very good to spend time with my family. Obviously the bad side is missing baseball. It’s what I’ve done since I was a kid. I miss it a lot.”
Talk about a dream deferred.
At age 12, Campos came to Orlando with his Cuban travel team and went 15 for 20 with five home runs in a tournament. The next year, he was most valuable player at a showcase in the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana). Instead of going back to Cuba with his team, he and his father Yuniel stayed — defected.
Soon after that he…