LHP Derek Thompson -- Prospect #24

Latest in a series on the top Dodger prospects as we count down to the very best.

Position- Relief Pitcher
Residence- Land O' Lakes , Fla.
DOB- Jan. 8, 1981
Wt.- 180
B/T- L/L
05 Clubs- Jacksonville (AA), Los Angeles (National)

There may be a tendency to write Thompson off. After all, he's had elbow surgery so will pitch very little in 2006. However, he's come back strongly before from a knee operation while in the Cleveland organization in 2001 and from a previous elbow problem that put him out all of 2003 so he's shown fortitude. What's more, in his short big league debut with the Dodgers last year, he did quite well (0-0, 3.50 in four games) and very much looked like he belonged up there. Thus it seems premature to cast him aside.

His fast ball reaches into the mid-90's and has a sink that's ideal for creating ground balls. He also has a wicked slider and solid changeup and is particularly tough on left-handed hitters. He can start and did so with Jacksonville (0-2, 3.89) but a relief role is probably his best bet right now. Obtained in a cash deal with the Cubs after they had chosen him in the Rule 5 draft in 2002, he's spent more time in the training room than on the field while with the Dodgers but the promise has always been there. He was dropped from the 40-man roster but has since signed a minor league contract. --Bill Shelley.

Previous Selections--
#25 -- SS Ivan DeJesus
#26 -- OF John Raglani
#27 -- LHP Ryan Ketchner
#28 -- OF Justin Ruggiano
#29 -- OF Jamie Hoffman

#30 -- RHP Chris Malone
#31 -- OF Cody Ross
#32 -- RHP Josh Wall
#33 -- SS Juan Rivera
#34 -- RHP Steve Johnson

#35 -- SS Scott Van Slyke
#36 -- OF John Melon
#37 -- LHP Brent Leach
#38 -- RHP Jesus Castillo
#39 -- LHP Eric Stults

#40 -- OF Xavier Paul
#41 -- LHP Miguel Sanfler
#42 -- 3B Josh Bell
#43 -- RHP Jordan Pratt
#44 -- OF Sergio Pedroza

#45 -- RHP Julio Pimentel
#46 -- 1b-1B Eduardo Perez
#47 -- RHP James McDonald
#48 -- OF Brian Myrow
#49 -- LHP Danny Muegge

#50 -- RHP Miguel Ramirez
#51 -- OF Ryan Carter
#52 -- RHP Casey Hoorelbeke
#53 -- OF Trayvon Robinson
#54 -- RHP Ramon Troncoso

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