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: @K_Samp2.

42 Responses

  1. Wick Terrell

    Almost everything about him reminds me of Corcino. Solid pickup, especially considering the price (or lack thereof).

      • UglyStrike

        LOL same thing I was thinking. I do not care what some people say. There is a adjustment from being a starting pitcher in a rotation and then suddenly moving to a bullpen and being called on at any moment. I would give his 2014 numbers a pass for right now and see what he does this year at AAA coming out of the bullpen.

      • lwblogger2

        As TheGaffer said, Simon may be a good comp too.

  2. JMO

    EXACTLY the type of signing the Reds should make. Walt is executing a new strategy, no more high priced FA’s for the pen. We are building a BP cheaply and most likely from within. Perfect fit. Lots of options to build a reliable bullpen. The 3 new guys can be very valuable in the Reds pen, Iglesias, Sampson and Magill.

  3. George Mirones

    Keyvius in AAA last season, posting a 6.68 ERA, 6.67 FIP, 6.68 BB/9, and 1.87 HR/9
    Logan Ondrusek in MLB POSTED A 5.49 ERA, 3.97 FIP, 3.51 BB/9, 1.10 HR/9

    Apples and Oranges or a peek into the future.

  4. Carl Sayre

    I really question Price as a manager but not as a pitching coach if this young man has the talent Price will tweak him to get it out.

    • Doug Gray

      The problem here is that Price probably won’t be working with Sampson for more than a few weeks to start spring training before he’s sent to the minor league side of things.

      • Earl Nash

        Ted Power seems to get some props for working with some of the young Reds pitchers, I’d imagine he would be one guy to maybe work with this new pitcher too. I’d figure if this guy doesn’t make the Reds he will be with Power in Louisville.

  5. zaglamir

    Some check Mr. Jocketty’s drink. This makes to much sense… someone may have spiked his drink.

    • Mike DGJ

      I really think this is the wave of the future as far as bullpin management. Have a dominant guy for the ninth and fill out the rest with high ceiling prospect with electric stuff that just couldn’t make it work as a starter. Cheap and tears of control. Can cut loses for relativly now penalty.

      • Alan Horn

        Tears of control may be true if he doesn’t harness it. I know it was a typo but some truth to it as well.

  6. MrRed

    The assumption that he’s been acquired for the bullpen contradicts what Jocketty has said they are going to try him as a starter. See Enquirer article from Rosecrans. It suggests that Sampson will start off in AAA as a starter this year and one can assume he won’t be competing for a spot in the bullpen in spring training. But, if it doesn’t work out, then the possibility exists that he goes back to the BP. All in all, I like the cheap pickup of a young power arm to help keep the team stocked going forward.

  7. Tom Gray

    Sounds like a good prospect for $20K waiver fee. Was 2014 an aberration? We’ll see.

  8. wvredlegs

    I think this move cements Iglesias in the Reds bullpen in 2015. He won’t be at AAA as a starter with Sampson there. It may also signal that Iglesias may be groomed as a replacement for Chapman now after 2015.

    • wvredlegs

      Doug Gray has an article at his redsminorleague site today that he thinks Iglesias might replace Chapman someday. I have to agree with him.

  9. redmountain

    More of the same thing Jocketty has been doing for awhile. He has done this since he arrived and sqeezed a few years out of them. Another option for Price to work with is all.

  10. unc reds fan

    So can we possibly look at this as getting Marlon Byrd for nothing now? Traded one farm pitcher and signed another…in that regard the trade doesn’t look as shabby, outside of the fact that Byrd was the best we could do

    • al

      I’d still rather have Lively and $4mil than Byrd. We still could have picked up this guy.

    • lwblogger2

      Not sure I’ll go as far as Al and say that I’d rather have Lively and 4-mil than Byrd but I will say that Lively is a much better prospect than Sampson.

  11. kentarnold29

    Amazing how a good move only warrants 17 comments in the first half of the day; whereas a “bad” move warrants 257 in two hours. Where is the optimism Redlegnation??


      I guess we should not discuss all the waiver claims we did not make?

    • al

      Generally waiver claims for guys with ERAs over 6 in AAA don’t make anyone’s fans come out of the woodwork. There’s nothing wrong with this move, but that doesn’t mean it’s exciting. This guy was discarded by the Padres, and he may be useful to the Reds, or maybe not.

      The Reds front office told fans that left field was the biggest need of the team this offseason. Obviously the move to fill left field is going to get a lot of discussion then, whoever it had been, and no matter whether the move had been generally seen as great or terrible. If the Reds had traded for Jason Heyward and only given up Ben Lively, I’m pretty sure there would have been hundreds of posts in the first few hours about what an amazing deal it was and about the Reds playoff chances.

    • jessecuster44

      Optimism may have gone out the window after 2013 and 2014. It takes time to build faith and trust again.

  12. Brian K

    If this pickup is even half as successful as the Alfredo Simon claim from 2012, then Jockety will have made a major positive move here. If its on par with the Marmol and the Dontrelle Willis signings, then we can forget all about it in a few months. It is interesting that Sampson slots into the 40 man roster as that usually implies a serious effort on the part of the coaching and management to give a new player a chance to succeed as opposed to filler in AAA.

    Time will tell.

    • Carl Sayre

      When a player is claimed off waivers doesn’t he have to go to the 40 man roster and stay there?

      • Brian K

        I thought that was the case for the Rule 5 picks. Not sure about waiver claims. In either case, if he’s taking a spot on the 40 man, their likely to try to make him a viable contributor.

  13. Anthony Ridley

    We need to pick up more hitters though. Every pickup is a pitcher. We need to start scouting independent leagues, Canadian, and Mexican leagues for hitting. We have allot of BIG swing and a miss guys in this organization.

  14. Thegaffer

    Zobrist goes for a top SS, number 85 prospect. No way that would have made sense to reds, that is equivalent to giving up Winker for 1 year of a declining player. Maybe that makes sense for reds in 2013, not now. Actually shocked that Oakland thinks it is worth it. They give up Russel and this guy for 1 year of Zobrist and 3 months of Samarja (and get some mediocre prospects for him this offseason). Is this Billy Beans last year? What does he do in 2 years?

    Byrd deal looks better now.

    • Steve Mancuso

      Yeah. Zobrist was never going to make sense for the Reds. Too many other teams wanted him, and for positions of greater shortage than LF. Hard to understand what Billy Beane is doing this offseason.

    • ohiojimw

      No, Bean just keeps shuffling the deck on the fly. He traded his 3B he said he had no intention of trading for a solid but lesser 3B and a boatload of prospects. The Zobrist acquisition is part of his reset from that. Never look at a Bean move in a vacuum by itself. Everything is part of the whole picture. He is pretty much the antithesis of WJ which is ironic given them coming from the same tree.

      • Thegaffer

        Agree, Bean gets the benefit of the doubt. However, he is more known for trading expensive players for cheaper ones. But I say that he has missed when giving up prospects for 1 year guys before, like Cargo for Matt holiday when they were mediocre at best. The Russell for Samardja will probably be bad too but at least they were in a pennant race.

      • Mike DGJ

        I understand pushing all in and think there is a time an place for it but honestly if i was an As fan giving up Russell Would have been tough to handle. Then trading Donaldson for that petty return and throw in the towel come on!! However, while any fan should have these feelings with every twam and GM the one exception is Beane. I can’t see how he makes these moved look good but if anyone can it’s him. For him I hold back judgement at least a year to see what he does with it.

      • greenmtred

        Also Jocketty’s antithesis in another way: Beane’s teams haven’t won championships.

  15. I-71_Exile

    Pure speculation of course, but with someone like Beane who has this reputation as a great trader, it makes sense to me that he needs to make a poor trade every now and then in order to keep other GMs thinking they can win against him. It’s the “I think he’s finally lost it” stratagem.

    After some of Beane’s winning deals—that don’t look like much at first—I’d stop taking his calls if I were an opposing GM.

  16. aceistheplace2

    Doug, where would he rank in the Reds system?

  17. Ohioindiaspora

    shouldn´t we be singing position players since one of the nation´s latest posts was that we already have a farm system loaded with pitchers???