Today we introduce another of the Padres top prospects, this time taking a trip to the mound. Meet…Keyvius Sampson.
At 20 years old, Keyvius Sampson (pronounced KEY-vus) is quickly making a name for himself at the minor league level. Currently in this third year in the Padres organization, Sampson is backing up the hype that had the Padres select him in the fourth round of the 2009 Draft out of Florida’s Forest High School.
After signing in 2009, Sampson took to the mound and posted a 3.38 ERA in four appearances (two starts) during his first professional season, split between Rookie-level Peoria and Short-A Eugene. In his second year, Sampson had some success on the hill, but missed time due to soreness in his arm. He went 3-3 in 10 starts, recording a 3.56 ERA (17 ER/43.0 IP) with Eugene.
Feeling like his old self again, the right-handed flame-thrower has spent the entire 2011 campaign with Single-A Fort Wayne. Through 20 starts this season, he has gone 9-2 with a 2.53 ERA (28 ER/99.2 IP), blowing hitters away with an electric fastball.
“Key has an explosive fastball that runs into the mid 90’s that he compliments with a very good change,” says Padres Vice President of Player Development Randy Smith. “Sampson is a good athlete that competes very well.”
Midwest League hitters would agree. Sampson has limiting opponents to a .175 average while striking out nearly 11 hitters per 9.0 innings pitched. He has not allowed an earned run in nine of his 20 starts, including each of his last three outings, and has yet to surrender more than six hits in a game all season.
For more on Sampson, check out this interview with milb.com.