In early March, I was able to see RHP Adrian Sampson from Bellevue Community College pitch and I took video and did a write up on him from that start. I was able to see him again on Saturday, March 24th, against Lane Community College. Sampson has had a terrific season thus far for the Bulldogs and kept this up on Saturday as he went 7 strong innings while striking out 12. His draft stock is rising and performances like this are really helping his stock. Heading into the year, Sampson ranked first overall on Perfect Game’s top 100 junior college draft prospects. The rest of the article includes a look at his start as well as a scouting report on Sampson.
Sampson was very efficient in the first inning, going 1-2-3. He threw a heavy diet of fastballs, sitting 90-91, and induced three weakly hit grounders. Sampson continued to look good in the second as he struck out 2 and had another 1-2-3 inning. In the third, Sampson’s perfect game was ended as he allowed a weakly hit grounder that just made it through the infield. He stuck out 2 and walked one in the third. In the fourth, Sampson continued his dominance striking out two and really started work his breaking ball.
Sampson dominated in the fifth inning as he struck out the side. Two of the strikeouts came on nasty breaking balls that dropped out of the zone into the dirt. The third came on a two seamer running in on the right handed batter’s hands. In the sixth, two runners reached base, one on an error, but Sampson kept the shutout in tact as he struck out two more. The seventh was Sampson’s last inning and he went 1-2-3 picking up another strikeout. Sampson’s final line for the day was 7 IP, 12K, BB, allowing 2 hits. This brings his season ERA to 1.08 and gives him 39 strikeouts in 25 innings. He has a 14.04 K/9 and a 5.57 K/BB ratio on the year.
Here is a look at Sampson’s pitches in his start:
Sampson’s fastball was sitting 90-91 mph, hitting the high 80’s a few times but also touching 92 and 93 mph a few times. The velocity was pretty consistent at 90 mph. The best part of his two seam fastball though is the late movement. He used it to back door righties as the pitch would start just off the outside of the plate but then break and hit the outside of the plate. He also used it well to throw inside to righties and have the pitch break in and jam them. Against left handed batters, he used it well to start it on the outside of the plate but then it would break of the plate making batters chase. He did a good job controlling it low in the zone, inducing a large amount of grounders.
His curveball is also an impressive pitch, and his best pitch. It comes out of his hand smoothly and has hard sharp break. It was sitting about 79-80 and he threw it effectively. He could locate it in the zone but also get batters to chase with it. At times it got slurvy making me think it he also threw slider but there was no velocity difference. I love the spin that he gets on the pitch and he does a good job pairing it with his fastball.
In the first start I saw Sampson, I did not see much of the changeup but I got to see much more of it Saturday. He is still has work to do on the pitch but he certainly has a feel for it. During the warm up before his start, he was working on it with his coach. At times during the game, his it looked great. The pitch sat about 83 MPH and had nice drop on it. It will be interesting to see how this pitch continues to develop over the course of the year.
As I mentioned above, some of Sampson’s pitches appeared to look like a slider but after taking with him, I found out he is working on a cutter. There was a case in the fifth inning where Sampson threw a pitch at 85 and the scouts in attendance were not completely sure as to what it was. We can assume that it was this cutter. I feel comfortable saying that he only threw this pitch a few times Saturday and I cannot say much more about it. Will defiantly be looking for it the next time I see him.
Overall, I really like Sampson and think he will go high in the draft. I see him going in the third round but he could defiantly climb higher. He is a great athlete, has sound mechanics, and great balance in his delivery. The movement he gets on his pitches is also impressive and I think he’ll add more velocity especially if he grows a little bit more. There are still things for him to work on though such as his command and consistency. Below is some video that I took of Sampson. Still working on my skills with the camera such as smoother transitions, editing, and quality but enjoy the video below.