Nov 2, 2013; Surprise, AZ, USA; San Diego Padres pitcher Keyvius Sampson against the East during the Fall Stars Game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Whew! With just six weeks or so until “pitchers and catchers report” to open Spring Training, the Cincinnati Reds have finally filled in their 40-man roster. As Jamie Ramsey announced today via Twitter, the claimed right-handed prospect Keyvius Sampson off waivers from the San Diego Padres.
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Steve Adams at MLBTradeRumors.com has most of the details, but this is an interesting move for the Reds, especially considering who their manager is.
Sampson was the Padres’ fourth-round draft pick in 2009 and was ranked high on their list of prospects all the way through last off-season. He sports a mid-90s fastball that he couples with either a curve or, more recently, a slider, a combination that generally sees him striking out more than a batter an inning.
The problem is that Sampson also issues a lot of walks. A lot of walks.
Like, 6.7 per nine innings in 2014 and 4.4 over his six-season career.
Sampson is still just 24 years old, and he played at AAA El Paso last season, so there is some hope that he can improve enough to have value in the Majors. If anybody can help him get there, it’s Reds’ skipper Bryan Price, who has been known to take on pitching projects.
This one is a doozy, though, as Sampson went 2-5 with a 6.68 ERA while allowing 19 home runs in 91.2 innings last year. You have to hope that there was a bit of a snowball effect going on there, but those are scary numbers.
Never you mind, though, because baseball, Reds baseball, will be back among the living before you know it. And, if nothing else, Sampson should be fun to watch in the Arizona sunshine.