Sampson has been one of the best Pirates minor league pitchers this year

Adrian Sampson promoted to Triple-A

With the recent shuffling in the Indianapolis pitching staff, Adrian Sampson has been promoted to Triple-A from Altoona.

Sampson, who posted a 2.55 ERA with the Curve this season, will join the Indianapolis rotation this week. In 24 starts, Sampson had 99 strikeouts and 30 walks, while allowing 125 hits.

The 22-year-old Sampson has reached Triple-A in just his third professional season after starting out in Low-A after the Pirates made him a fifth round pick in 2012.

Sampson struggled a bit in 2013 with Bradenton, allowing 177 hits in 140 innings and having a 5.14 ERA. However, he has enjoyed a nice bounce back this season.

UPDATE FROM TIM: Sampson has been the breakout pitcher of the year in the Pirates’ minor league system this season. A big reason for his success this year was due to improvements with his changeup. That was also a big reason for his struggles in Bradenton last year, since he spent most of the season working on improving the pitch. Sampson now has a three pitch mix, throwing a 90-94 MPH fastball, a hard breaking curveball that is at least above average, and the changeup, which has come a long way.

Sampson will get a few starts with Indianapolis to end the season, and maybe a few more if they make the playoffs. Next year he will put himself in position to reach the majors as a depth option or an injury replacement. If he continues this strong progression, he could win a rotation spot for good, depending on his performance when he most likely gets called up next summer. Sampson has the upside of a middle of the rotation starter who could eat 200 innings a year, although the conservative view has him as a strong number four starter who can take a lot of innings. He’s more likely to reach the middle of the rotation projection if he changeup continues improving.

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Ryan Palencer

Ryan joined Pirates Prospects as the Indianapolis Triple-A writer in 2014. Prior to joining Pirates Prospects, Ryan covered high school, college and professional sports in the Indianapolis area. For more updates throughout the season, follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanpalencer.

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  • CamJay87

    Let’s hope the corresponding move is Glasnow to Bradenton

    • Matt Beam

      to Altoona :-)

  • Gallatin

    Personally I would rather see Glasnow continue to pitch in a playoff race for Bradenton, and hopefully get a few post-season starts under his belt. I believe we would get more development out of this approach then sending him up to AA for 3 or 4 games that don’t matter.

    But I know – it’s hard to be patient when you have a potential Ace coming up.

  • Simon Weaver

    I would keep Glasnow down. Let next year be the one he moves up mid-season. I think maintain confidence is key number one and an off-season to rest, fill out more, and knock down the delivery will let him continue his under .200 opp batting avg up to the majors

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