Keyvius Sampson Living Up to the Hype

I’ve read nothing but glowing reports on Padres 2009 4th-rounder Keyvius Sampson ever since he was drafted. He’s universally praised for having a good fastball, fantastic curveball, solid changeup, and good command, all at age 19.

All that made me wonder “Why the heck isn’t this guy in full-season ball, then?”

After all, there had to be warts somewhere in his game to get him held back in spring training, I thought.

I guess not–Sampson’s struck out 15 batters in 10 scoreless innings thus far in two starts with Eugene. He’s barely been touched, allowing just three hits and one walk.

I imagine that Sampson’s not making it to Fort Wayne was due to a) a logjam of older players and b) wanting to keep his arm fresh as he transitions into pro ball. Sampson isn’t the biggest of pitchers.

Anyway, he seems to be a high-upside power arm with decent polish for his age, which gives him an outside shot at being an All-Star arm someday. The system needs more guys like that, although if the Padres can get most of their high draft picks signed this year, that need will largely be filled (until next year, when some of the pitchers invariably take steps backward).

Really encouraging stuff from Sampson. I wonder if he’ll get pushed to Fort Wayne soon now…

Tags: Eugene Emeralds Keyvius Sampson

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