Tigers Prospect Profile: Jake Thompson

With the Tigers first selection in the 2012 draft they snagged right-hander Jake Thompson, a high school pitcher from Texas. Thompson has a big body and a power fastball, what else does he bring to the table?

Jake Thompson
Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Height: 6-4
Weight: 235
Born: 1/31/1994
Bats: Right
Throws: Right

Thompson has been a standout two-way player for Rockwall-Heath High School, helping propel his squad to the state tournament this spring.

In one of his most recent games, Thompson fanned 12 hitters to keep his team's state title hopes alive. On top of his stellar pitching performance, Thompson launched a two-run home run to put the game out of reach and help his own cause in the win.

That outing was typical of Thompson's senior campaign and cemented his status as a top two or three round choice in this year's draft.

Scouting Report
Thompson is a very big, physical kid that already has a pro body and could still get more physical with a pro strength training and conditioning program. He is built for durability and holding his power stuff deep into games.

As a senior, Thompson consistently ran his fastball up to 94 mph and routinely sat at 88-91 mph. As mentioned, he showed an ability to hold that velocity deep into starts, reaching back for 93 and 94 late in games.

Thompson lacks experience on the mound, having played first base for his high school team, and it shows with his strike-throwing ability. While his delivery is clean and repeatable, he still hasn't mastered finding the strike zone. He has control projection and scouts I spoke with this spring are bullish on his ability to develop at least average command down the line.

Beyond the fastball, Thompson will show a slider that occasionally flashes as an above-average to plus pitch. At its best, the pitch has tight spin and good two-plane movement that can miss bats.

Though he has infrequently toyed with a change-up, Thompson will need considerable work in developing a third offering.

With his durable frame and potential for two plus pitches, Thompson projects comfortably in the middle of a big league rotation. He has the potential to eat innings by the truck load and could be a valuable big leaguer.


Not available

Health Record
Thompson has a relatively fresh arm for a Texas high school pitcher, having split his time between the mound and first base. He will need to have his workload monitored the first two years, but he has a clean bill of health now and doesn't have any glaring injury concerns.

The Future
Thompson is committed to TCU but should be signable as the club's second round pick. He likely won't sign until close to the July deadline and will probably see only a few innings in the Gulf Coast League this year before the Tigers take the reins off a bit and send him to West Michigan in 2013. He is at least 3-4 years away from even approaching the big leagues.

Mark Anderson is TigsTown's Managing Editor. Be sure to follow him on twitter @TigsTownMark.

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