The Reds have claimed right-hander Keyvius Sampson off waivers from the Padres, assistant director of media relations Jamie Ramsey announced today (on Twitter). This waiver claim gives the Reds a full 40-man roster.
The 23-year-old Sampson found himself designated for assignment last week to clear roster space following the acquisition Shawn Kelley from the Yankees. Sampson was long regarded by Baseball America as one of the Padres’ top 30 prospects, peaking at No. 9 just last offseason. However, Sampson had a very rough season in 2014, struggling to a 6.68 ERA with 9.2 K/9 and 6.7 BB/9 in 91 2/3 innings between the rotation and bullpen at Triple-A El Paso.
Nonetheless, the former fourth-round pick does come with some upside for the Reds. As recently as last offseason, BA noted that Sampson sat 93 to 95 mph with his fastball and had scrapped a below-average curveball for a more effective slider. Those two pitches paired with a “quality changeup,” per BA, though their scouting report noted that his below-average command could be an obstacle, and that was clearly the case in 2014.