Scouting Twin Prospect #33: Andrew Thompson

The Twins selected Andrew Thompson in the second round of the 2005 draft, and threw enough money at him to lure him away from college. After a great inaugural season of professional baseball, Thompson's 2006 season ended early due to injury, but the Twins are still very high on the son of former Major Leaguer Robbie. Here is a look at our 33rd ranked prospect:

Name: Andrew Thompson
Position: Middle Infielder
DOB: November 11, 1986
Height: 6'1''
Weight: 160
Bats: Left
Throws: Right

The Twins selected Andrew Thompson in the second round of the 2005 June Draft, and he quickly signed for 475,000 dollars. A slick-fielding middle infielder, who can play both shortstop and second base, Thompson is the son of former Major Leaguer Robby Thompson. He was the first of three sons of former Major Leaguers to be selected by the Twins in 2005, as he was followed by Steven Tolleson, and Toby Gardenhire in the draft.

After playing his high school baseball at Tequesta High School in Florida, Thompson figured he was ready to make the jump to the professional ranks. He was a highly recruited middle infielder, but the Twins saw enough in him to make him a high draft choice. Ready to make the giant leap and forgo collegiate baseball, Thompson was assigned to the Gulf Coast League Twins.

One high ranking Twins official had this to say about Andrew: "Right now he is wiry thin, but he has some room for added strength," we were told. "He is much like his father, being that he is a line-drive hitter with average speed."

He appeared in 35 games for the Gulf Coast League Twins during the 2005 season, and was seen as more of a table setter for the team. His 22 runs were good enough for second on the team, and he he posted a .385 on base percentage, despite batting only .258. Still, he provided some pop in the lineup as well, finishing second on the team with two home runs, and also finishing second on the team with 20 runs batted.

He also proved to be a valuable commodity in the field, as he played both middle infield positions. While he did make eight errors, he showed enough flash in the field to get the Twins excited about what he brings to both middle infield positions. He formed a nice double play combination with fellow second rounder Paul Kelly, and was given a promotion to High-A Fort Myers.

For the Miracle, Thompson put up some nice numbers at the plate. He batted .308 in four games, although those within the organization felt he was wearing down towards the end of the season. Still, he put together a nice season, and was exactly what the Twins were hoping he would be when they drafted him.

The 2006 season started off well for Thompson, who joined eight of his teammates in the mid-season Midwest League All-Star Game. However, Thompson would be hit with the injury bug, as he played his last game of the season on July 18. Overall, the young infielder batted .261 for the Snappers in only 74 games.

Batting and Power: Thompson is the kind of batter who could pretty much bat in any spot in the order. He does have extra-base hit potential, and has a tendency to find the gaps. He is never going to hit 30 home runs in a season, but he should be a solid doubles hitter throughout his career. He also has an advanced batting eye, which he uses to work better counts for himself. He projects to be a .285/15/75 hitter.

Baserunning and Speed: Thompson has good speed, and like at the plate, is very disciplined on the base paths. He stole six bases during his 35 game span with the Gulf Coast League Twins during his first season of professional baseball. He knows when to take the next base, and it is clear that he has grown up around baseball, being that he is rarely seen making a bad base running mistake. He is slated to be a top of the order hitter, and he has good enough speed to be just that.

Defense: Thompson is a good defender, who has the range to play both second base, and shortstop. He has very soft hands, and gets to the ball quickly to make up for an average arm. While he could still project to be a shortstop, the Twins like the way he plays second base, and that is a position where he can have the most advancement through the system. He could prove to be a very valuable utility infielder at the Major League level.

ETA. 2010. The injury to Thompson hurt his development, because he missed a better portion of a very crucial year in a young player's development. However, he is still very young, and has already proven that he can hit the ball at the High-A level. If he can hone his skills at the plate, then he should make a steady rise through the organization. The Twins farm system is not loaded at the second base position, so the switch to the right side of the diamond can only help the young middle infielder.

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