Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 9/23/1991 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Acquired: 2013 MLB Draft, 3rd Round
Ranking History: #21 (2014)
Background: Thompson was a third round pick of the Tigers last summer and signed quickly before debuting for 45 innings with West Michigan in the season's second half. Thompson finished with a 3.80 ERA and 2-2 record.
|2013 Stats - Pitching|
Body: Mammoth frame; broad shoulders; barrel chest; thick butt and thighs; long legs and arms; extremely physical; good present strength; has room for growth but won't add much more at this stage in personal development; imposing presence.
Delivery/Mechanics: Simple, compact delivery; surprisingly coordinated; controls arms and legs well; stays tight from rocker step through balance point; drives hard to the plate but makes it look easy; arm action can get a little long; finish will pull across body at times; typically extends well out front; long strider; keeps excellent angle with high-3/4 slot.
Fastball: Comfortable 90-93 velo; FB is on steep plane due to height/arm angle; can find 95 mph when he needs it; could play up in short bursts where he can air it out; potential for true plus FB with added strength; solid pitch with some potential; could fine more pop out of bullpen. Grade – Present 5/Future 5+
Slider: Quality pitch; can show two-plane break with more vertical than horizontal most of the time; tight rotation; carries disguise of FB when right; knows how to finish pitch out of strike zone; needs to learn to work in zone with pitch more frequently for soft contact; potential solid-average to plus pitch with refinement and improved command/control; has to sequence well to maximize effectiveness of pitch. Grade – 5/5+
Changeup: Shows occasional feel; more of a straight change; generates some arm side movement when delivery pulls across body at finish; maintains arm speed and generates intriguing velo separation; doesn't command well; still learning how to set up CH; useable third pitch but nothing to write home about. Grade – 4+/5
Control/Command: Pounds strike zone with FB; SL works outside strike zone consistently; CH is hit or miss around/in the zone; simplicity of delivery and clean arm action allow for control/command projection; potential average command at peak.
Other: Quiet confidence on the mound; good presence; intelligent; gets off the mound well for his size; good athlete; big time football background; hard worker.
Summary: Has tools to start; package is more solid across the board than spectacular; FB-SL can carry profile in rotation or bullpen; CH is useable; intelligent; good athlete; clean delivery; needs to find more deception; control/command will play, possibly to average level; SP profile tops out as 4 or 5; potential 7th inning arm as backup plan.
Risk: Moderate risk; lower ceiling; minimal tool improvement required to reach ceiling; durable frame; no significant injury history; lacks full-season resume.
Projection: Average arsenal across the board allows for starting pitcher projection; potential 4/5 starter; arsenal could gain crispness in short stints; projected to start at West Michigan as SP in 2014; could move quickly and reach limited ceiling in short order; potential 2016 MLB debut.
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