PP 2004 Scouting Report: OF, Kevin Thompson

The New York Yankees selected CF Kevin Thompson in the 31st round of the 1999 draft out of Grayson County (Texas) CC where he played on two national champions there and was a teammate of Anaheim's John Lackey. Originally drafted by the Minnesota Twins out of high school in the 18th round of the 1998 draft, Thompson was a draft-and-follow as he signed in 2000 with the Yankees. (Free Preview of Premium Content)

Vital Statistics:
Name: Kevin Thompson
Positon: Centerfield
DOB: September 18, 1979
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 180
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
How Acquired: Selected in the 31st round of the 1999 draft, Thompson signed as a draft-and-follow.

At Grayson, Thompson won back-to-back Junior College Championships as a shortstop/second baseman. After spending only seven games in the infield to begin his career in the Yankees organization, he was transferred to centerfield to take advantage of his natural abilities.

The name of Thompson's game is speed. In 2002, Thompson led the organization in steals with 31 SBs. He led the Yankees farm system in stolen bases again in 2003, swiping a combined 63 between Tampa and Trenton. On August 21, 2003, Thompson broke the record of 40 steals in a year set in 1997 by outfielder Aaron Fuller (he wound up stealing 47 for Trenton last season). He also set the Trenton franchise record for steals in a game on July 29 against Portland when he stole four bases. The previous mark was three steals and was held by five players. Thompson also set the Trenton record for steals in a month when he swiped 17 bases in July to top Nomar Garciaparra's mark of 12 set in May 1995.

Thompson has had some varying success in his Yankees' career thus far. He's shown good patience at the plate, a good batting eye, tons of speed, and lots of defense. The key to Thompson's future is his power. While most scouts say he does not have enough power, Thompson has shown he has some pop in his bat. His 2003 stint at Tampa in particular was phenomenal, clubbing 13 doubles and 5 home runs in just 44 games.

Year

Team

AVG

AB

2B

HR

RBI

R

SB

BB

SO

OBP

SLG

2003

Trenton

.226

328

16

5

20

48

47

37

57

.310

.332

2003

Tampa

.331

163

13

5

25

42

16

32

27

.433

.552

2002

Staten Island

.302

139

5

4

14

25

6

17

24

.376

.453

2002

Tampa

.184

87

5

0

7

10

11

13

15

.298

.241

2002

Greensboro

.283

226

24

3

31

44

14

37

42

.396

.456

2001

Staten Island

.262

260

11

6

33

46

11

36

48

-

.404

2001

GCL Yankees

.267

75

7

2

9

13

2

10

14

-

.467


*Stats as of 9/7/03

Batting and Power. Some scouts say he does not have enough power to be a regular Major League outfielder. Thompson's slugging percentages suggest that the jury is still out on that assessment. He has decent gap power and with his speed and batting eye, Thompson could develop into a dangerous hitter. Thompson makes consistent contact and he is a great judge of the strike zone. In his career, Thompson has struck out just 45 more times that he's drawn walks.

Base Running and Speed. As pointed out earlier, Thompson is all about the speed. In his short minor league career, Thompson has stolen 107 bases with an 84.3% success rate.

Defense. Blessed with so much speed, Thompson is an excellent defensive outfielder. In 2002, Baseball America even rated him as the Top Defensive Outfielder in the organization.

Projection. Right now, Thompson appears to be a reserve outfielder. Should his power develop a little more, he could become a good starting outfielder and a threat at the top of the lineup.

ETA. 2005. Thompson's speed and defense suggests he'll break in as a valuable bench player. Beyond that is up to Thompson and the Yankees.

Notes. Named to the 2003 Florida State League All-Star team but did not play due to promotion to Trenton. Thompson was the Florida State League Player of the Week for May 12-May 18, 2003. In seven games and 26 plate appearances he batted .462. He collected 12 hits to include four home runs and three doubles. Kevin drove in nine runs and scored seven times while stealing three bases. His slugging percentage was 1.038 and his OBP .545.

Outfielders

2003 Team

Mike Vento

AAA - Columbus Clippers

Mitch Jones

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Reese

AA - Trenton Thunder

Kevin Thompson AA - Trenton Thunder
Tommy Winrow A - Tampa Yankees
Andy Brown A - Tampa Yankees
Bronson Sardinha A - Battle Creek Yankees
Rudy Guillen A - Battle Creek Yankees
Matt Carson A - Battle Creek Yankees
Erold Andrus A - Battle Creek Yankees
Melky Cabrera A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwar Gonzalez A - Staten Island Yankees
Edwin Cabrera R - GCL Yankees


COMMENTS


As it is currently constituted, the New York Yankees outfield is as weak as it has been in recent years. Power has become a huge problem outside Sardinha, Guillen, and maybe Matt Carson. There are, though, a decent amount of quality defensive players that the organization really loves.

1. Bronson Sardinha - Moved from shortstop to left field where he continues to improve and has a good arm. Above-average runner who sprays the ball and projects to a 20-25 HR player.

2. Rudy Guillen - Collected forty-four extra-base hits (29 doubles, 4 triples, 13 homers) in 2003 while driving in 79. Excellent potential, is still young, and has the ability to hit for high average.

3. Kevin Thompson - Great defensive player who adds tons of speed (caught just 8 times in 55 attempts with the Thunder in 03‘). Doesn't strike out and is extremely patient.

4. Kevin Reese - Line drive hitter who can steal. Struggled with Columbus and was sent down to Trenton where he had a .272 average, .328 OBP, 27 steals in 32 attempts, and 13 doubles in 309 ABs. Lacks power.

5. Matt Carson - One of the top defensive players in the organization, but strikes out way too much (100 times in 432 ABs last year).

6. Mitch Jones - Hit or miss: 131 SO and 23 HR in 463 AB.

7. Jason Grove - Left-handed hitter doesn't have great power, but can hit for average.

8. Erold Andrus - Switch-hitter needs to improve judgment of the strike zone.

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