At the Park Scouting Report: Jeff Thompson

After missing almost all of 2014, Jeff Thompson has returned to the mound. But how does he look after injury and lost development time? TigsTown's associate scout John Moore breaks it down after watching Thompson on a couple occasions.

Name: Jeff Thompson
Position: Starting Pitcher
Date of Birth: September 23, 1991
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
Dates Observed: April 11 and May 12 2015
Acquired: Draft, Round 3 2013

Body: (6’6”, 245): Really big guy; every bit as big as the 6’6” 245 he is listed at; not much physical projection left; has the size to be able to pitch a lot of innings.

Delivery/Mechanics: Throws from a more over the top arm slot; moves his arm in a full circle before delivering the pitch; a lot of arm speed which adds some deception to his delivery; can see the ball from fairly early in his delivery; not much effort; starts from the first base side of the rubber.

Fastball: Both outings 87-89 touching 91 with his fastball; pitch lacks movement, but it does occasionally have a little cut action on it; below average command of pitch; pitch is easy for hitters to pick up; hitters consistently make very hard contact; maintains the same velocity in both the windup and stretch; can improve if he adds command and movement; fastball has 4+ velocity currently but due to lack of control and movement it plays down to a 4. Grade: Present 4/Future 4+

Slider: sits in the 80-82 range; good movement; struggled with his control; couldn’t seem to find the strike zone in either of the outings; primary out pitch right now; can develop into a solid major league offering if command/control are improved. Grade: Present 4/ Future 5 (Note: he appeared to be messing around with a curveball that was in the same velocity range, but he rarely ever threw it)

Changeup: Least effective pitch; Sat in the 83-84 range; thrown with the same arm speed, which is good, but the velocity difference between CH and his fastball isn’t enough to keep guys off balanced; little bit of movement; doesn’t look like he could rely on it to get more advanced hitters out; solid, but not great command. Grade: Present 3/Future 3+

Control/Command: Battled some serious control problems early the second start I saw; fastball command looked pretty bad both outings; couldn’t throw his slider for strikes; did show pretty solid change-up command.

Other: Showed a couple of pick-off attempts which looked average for a right-hander.

Summary: Not much to like about Thompson’s game right now; Has some attributes with potential, including his slider and possibly his fastball; aside from physical presence there isn’t really anything that projects him to MLB.

Projection: Considered a prospect after previous looks; realistically looks like an org. guy; ceiling is a middle relief type if command and consistency improve; will probably spend the next couple seasons bouncing around the Single-A levels and Double-A.

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