Dodger Prospect Derek Thompson

29th in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Position- Starting Pitcher
Residence Land O'Lakes, Fla.
DOB- Jan. 8, 1981
B/T- L-L
04 Club- Jacksonville (AA)

Thompson is taking a circuitous route to the mound at Dodger Stadium but he still might arrive there yet. Originally he was a first-round draft choice (37th overall) of the Indians, was chosen by the Cubs in the 2002 Rule 5 draft, then, in a pre-arranged deal, had his contract sold to the Dodgers. He had barely arrived at spring training in 2003 when he blew his elbow out which required surgery.

He sat out all of that season on the Dodger 60-day disabled list, then was non-tendered in December of that year, subsequently signing a minor league contract in March 2004.

His comeback was more than satisfactory. Pitching at the Double-A level for the first time he was 5-7, 3.72 at Jacksonville with 100 strikeouts in 118 iniongs despite having to be held back several times as a cautionary procedure when his arm became tired.

He features a fast ball that's consistently in the low 90's which has a sinking action that produces ground balls. His slider moves well and his changeup is more than acceptable.
Once again, he's been pulled up to the 40-man roster but needs Triple A experience so will undoubtedly spend all or part of 2005 at Las Vegas.