Seeking help for a depleted rotation, the Seattle Mariners promoted right-hander Adrian Sampson to the major league roster over the weekend. He made his first career start against the Boston Red Sox on Saturday, giving up eight hits and four runs in 4.2 innings. Here's a quick take on Sampson, his past, and his possible future.
Sampson was originally drafted in the fifth round by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2012 from Bellevue Community College in Washington state. After a mediocre season in A-ball in 2013, he posted a fine '14 campaign with a 2.55 ERA in 24 starts for Double-A Altoona, 99/30 K/BB in 144 innings. He was traded to the Mariners in July 2015 for J.A. Happ. This year in 13 starts for Triple-A Tacoma Sampson features a 3.25 ERA in 80 innings with a 61/12 K/BB.
Age 24, Sampson is listed at 6-2, 210. He utilizes a three-pitch mix with a four-seam fastball in the 87-94 range, averaging 91; while mixing in sliders and change-ups at various velocity slots in the low to mid 80s. In the minors he's been hittable, giving up 647 hits in 593 innings, but seldom beats himself with walks, posting a 422/125 K/BB.
All that screams number four/five starter and that's pretty much where he stands. Sampson won't wow you with his stuff and needs sharp command to survive, but decent careers have been made with less.