Keyvius Sampson

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Keyvius N. Sampson

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Biographical Information[edit]

Starting pitcher Keyvius Sampson played in the San Diego Padres minor league system from 2009 to 2014, then made his big league debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2015. He was taken by the Padres in the 4th round of the 2009 amateur draft, one pick after James Jones. The scout was Rob Sidwell. He was considered a prospect for several years and won one minor league strikeout title.

He was a first-team high school All-American as a senior according to Baseball America, joining David Holmberg, Patrick Schuster, Jacob Turner and Zack Wheeler as the pitchers. He split his first pro summer between the AZL Padres (1 R in 3 IP) and Eugene Emeralds (2 R in 5 IP). Baseball America rated him as being San Diego's #12 prospect and having the best curveball in their system. He was 3-3 with a 3.56 ERA, 58 K in 43 IP and a .217 opponent average for Eugene in 2010. He was 10th in the Northwest League in whiffs despite not making the top 40 in innings pitched. Baseball America listed him as the NWL's 12th-best prospect, between Kellin Deglan and Jake Skole.

In 2011, with the Fort Wayne Wizards, he was 12-3 with 143 strikeouts in 118 IP, only 81 hits allowed (a .192 average) and a 2.90 ERA in 24 starts (118 innings pitched). He was among the Midwest League leaders in all the key departments: third in K (behind Josh Smith and Daniel Corcino, fourth in WHIP (between Smith and Garrett Gould), tied for fourth in wins with Victor Mateo) and 7th in ERA. He had the 4th-lowest opponent average in the minors, behind Brad Peacock, Matt Moore and Julio Rodriguez. He tied Matt Buschmann for the most wins by a Padres farmhand and easily led in whiffs (21 more than #2 Mike Watt). He was named a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star, a Baseball America Low Class A All-Star, the Padres Organizational Pitcher of the Year and a MiLB.com Organization All-Star that year. Greg Billo beat him out as the MWL All-Star right-hander. Baseball America listed him as the #10 prospect in the loop, between Matt Szczur and Cheslor Cuthbert.

Entering 2012, he was named the 9th-best prospect in the Padres system by MLB.com and #10 by Baseball America. Despite posting a losing record (8-11) and an ERA of 5 for the San Antonio Missions in 2012, he still averaged nearly one strikeout per inning (122 K in 122 1/3 IP). He tied Murphy Smith and Orangel Arenas for third in the Texas League in losses but also led in strikeouts, 6 more than Jake Brigham and Jose Cisnero. Among Padres farmhands, he tied Adys Portillo and Jorge Reyes for second in losses (two behind Matt Lollis) and was third in Ks (behind Burch Smith and Matt Andriese). Baseball America rated him as the TL's #20 prospect, as San Diego's #13 prospect and as possessing the top changeup in the San Diego system.

In 2013, he was 12-7 with a 3.57 ERA in 28 games (27 starts) split between San Antonio (10-4, 2.26 ERA) and the Triple-A Tucson Padres (2-3, 7.11 ERA). Had he qualified, he would have been third in the TL in ERA behind David Martinez and Carlos Hernandez. Despite his partial season, he still tied Kevin Pucetas for third in the league in wins and was 10th in strikeouts. He was named a Texas League Post-Season All-Star (the other pitchers were Christian Bergman, Mike Foltynewicz, Hernandez, Brandon Hynick, Jeremy McBryde, Martinez, Kevin Quackenbush and Neil Ramirez). Among San Diego minor leaguers, he led in both wins (one over Andriese) and whiffs (4 over Matt Wisler). He allowed one earned run (and two unearned runs) in 11 1/3 IP for the Peoria Javelinas and was named an Arizona Fall League Rising Star that year. Baseball America named him San Diego's #9 prospect and the TL's #7 prospect (between Domingo Santana and Jason Adam).

He began 2014 with the El Paso Chihuahuas, the Padres new Triple-A team.

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