Thrown almost 13% of the time in 2019, Sampson’s changeup has arm side run of 9.1 inches. It generated a GB% of 52.5% but hitters hit .290/.347/.464 off the pitch, meaning he will need to find more consistency with it in 2020.
With 54% usage, Sampson often tried to establish his fastball early to get ahead in counts. Despite this, opponents slashed .351/.413/.675 off the pitch so look for adjustments to made in the future. His Z-contact% of 91.2% means the pitch failed to miss many bats in the zone, which is something that will have to be improved for the pitch to be effective in 2020.
By far his best pitch, Sampson’s slider has sharp downward and horizontal movement that caused an O-Swing% of 38.4%. Thrown over 26% of the time, the pitch averages 84 mph and generated a K% of 31.5%, compared to just a 2.8% BB%. Look for Sampson to increase his usage in 2020.
Sampson’s fastball carries a miniscule 2.6 SwStr%. His contact rates are high across the board, which showcases how hittable the pitch is in the zone or out. A .424 career wOBA in just over 250 pitches seems to suggest that Sampson is not a Major League pitcher.
Sampson threw his changeup 22.6% of the time and mostly to lefties (67/75). It was surprisingly effective in a limited 23-inning sample. It had an excellent 47.5% chase rate, 46.7% zone rate and an above-average 13.3% swinging-strike rate.
Sampson’s slider showed some decent swing-and-miss ability with an 18.8% swinging-strike rate but was otherwise unexciting with a modest 27.3% chase rate and 31.3% zone rate. It also showed below-average horizontal and vertical movement.
This was Sampson’s fourth pitch by a long distance. He only threw 13 curveballs in 2018. And it showed well-below-average horizontal and vertical movement.