Prospect Rankings No. 18: Julian Sampson

sampson 1Julian Sampson, RHP

Born: 1/21/1989 in Sammamish, Washington

Height: 6’5”

Weight: 210

Much of determining where a prospect could end up is based around “projectability.”  Stats can go a long way toward providing a decent understanding of a player’s ceiling, but for many prospects it is more about where they will end up than where they are right now. Julian Sampson is one of those prospects. His output so far over two years in the Phillies organization has been less than stellar, but there is reason to believe that when he maximizes his potential and fills out his physical frame, the long-armed hurler will become a new and improved pitcher.

The Phillies drafted Sampson in the 12th round (383 overall) in the 2007 Draft and worked hard to pry him away from attending the University of Washington. He signed late, just before the deadline, and only got in two innings with the GCL Phils that year before the season ended. Sampson spent all of 2008 with Lakewood and posted respectable numbers, including 11 wins, which led all Phillies minor league pitchers. He moved up to high-A Clearwater to begin this year, but after 13 disappointing starts he was bumped back down to the GCL in late July, where he is still working to correct some things.

Scouts love Sampson’s projectability, their way of saying that he still has plenty of room to develop. Several reports indicate that his fastball, which normally sits around 90-92, can be cranked up to about 95 or so because his smooth delivery gives him the ability to add velocity as he gains size and experience. Coaches helped Sampson turn his curveball into a more effective slider and he has been working to incorporate his straight changeup into his repertoire a little more. With a 20-year-old pitcher trying to fix so many things, it’s clear why he’s struggling so much.

Sampson had good control of his fastball when he began to play in the minors, but his walk rate is too high, especially for an unusually low strikeout rate. He does carry a very impressive groundball-to-flyball ratio of nearly 2-to-1, showing that while he might not produce strikeouts he can still keep batters in the infield. Before Sampson can be bumped up a class, he’ll need to show that he’s capable of figuring things out in the GCL and then consistently pitching well if he returns to Clearwater. But he has plenty of time, and in two years it’s very likely that he will have maximized his physical ability and might develop one of the best fastballs in the system.


Year   Level   W   L   ERA    IP    H    ER    BB    K    K/9

2007   ROOK   0   0   0.00   2.0    0    0    0     1    4.5

2008   A       11   4   4.33   135  152  65   52   69   4.6

2009   High-A 1   10  7.91   58    81   51   23   27   4.2

2009   ROOK   0   1   5.31   20.1  26   12    5   12   5.3

RankingsAll previous prospect profiles can be found here, which is also on the left sidebar for easy viewing

18.  Julian Sampson, RHP
19.  John Mayberry, Jr., OF
20.  Mike Cisco, RHP
21.  Freddy Galvis, SS
22.  Jonathan Pettibone, RHP
23.  Domingo Santana, OF
24.  Jonathan Singleton, 1B
25.  Drew Naylor, RHP

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