The Reds announced today that they have claimed Keyvius Sampson off waivers from the Padres. Sampson was designated for assignment last month, after the Padres picked up Shawn Kelly from the Yankees. Sampson is a 24 year old right-handed pitcher, who spent all of 2014 at AAA.
Sampson was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 draft by the Padres. He has appeared in 130 games (102 starts) in the minors, posting a 4.29 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 9.6 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, and 1.0 HR/9. He features a 94-95 MPH fastball. At the end of 2013, Sampson was ranked as the Padres #9 prospect by Baseball America.
Sampson was exclusively used as a starting pitcher prior to 2014. but was moved to the bullpen on June 6th of last season. Overall, Sampson really struggled at AAA last season, positing a 6.68 ERA, 6.67 FIP, 6.68 BB/9, and 1.87 HR/9. The one positive from Sampson in 2014 was his 9.23 K/9 (for comparison, the 2014 International League average K/9 was 7.5).
Keyvius Sampson certainly appears to have the stuff to pitch in the Reds bullpen in the future, but he will have to drastically improve his control. He can certainly strike guys out, but last season he walked 16% of the batters of he faced.
Nation, you call follow Keyvius on Twitter:Ã‚Â @K_Samp2.