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Prospect Nation 2016: #2 RHP Jake Thompson

J Thompson 2
Jake Thompson, image- Jay Floyd
Acquired as part of the group of prospects that came in return in the trade for Cole Hamels, right-handed pitcher Jake Thompson shot toward the head of the pack to become the Phillies' top pitching prospect last summer. Touting a strong arm and a some big strike out numbers, Thompson looks to be destined for a spot in the big league rotation sooner than later.

Originally a second round draft selection out of Rockwall-Heath High School (TX) by Detroit in 2012, the six-foot-four 235-pounder had a tremendous start to his pro career in the Gulf Coast League that year. In seven starts there as an 18-year-old, Thompson posted a 1-2 record with a 1.91 ERA and a .149 batting average against.

In 2013, Thompson sported a 3-3 record with a 3.13 ERA along with a 9.8 K/9 mark in 17 games for Class A West Michigan.

The following season, Thompson opened the year with Class A Advanced Lakeland, posting a 6-4 record with a 3.14 ERA in 16 starts before earning a promotion to Double-A Erie. There, the Texas native would tally a 1-0 record with a 2.45 ERA in two starts before being traded to Texas in a swap for Joakim Soria. Following the deal, he was assigned to Double-A Frisco, where he notched a 3-1 record with a 3.28 ERA. His strikeout numbers for the entire season stayed high, averaging more than a strike out per inning pitched.

He opened 2015 back with Frisco, where he continued to post good numbers, collecting a 6-6 record with a 4.72 ERA before the Phillies traded for him and a group of other young players. With his new organization, he was assigned to Double-A Reading, where he became the ace of the pitching staff, leading the team into the postseason with a 5-1 record, a 1.80 ERA and a .217 BAA in seven regular season starts. He would average 7.6 K/9 mark overall last season.


Walks are not an issue for Thompson. With solid command, he sports a 3.1 BB/9 mark over his career. He pretty much misses the strike zone when he wants to and is able to limit any damage when it occurs.

Coaches love the 22-year-old's competitive nature, as he's truly all business at the ballpark. He is the type of hurler that can set an example and lead a pitching staff. If and when he's on a team that needs a "stopper", that role has Thompson written all over it.

Thompson could have done well as a two-pitch reliever in the big leagues a year ago, but with his build, endurance and makeup, he's best suited, long-term, as a starter. Pitchers facing the lineup more than once each time out need to have a deeper repertoire, which is where the youngster is right now, continuing to master his other offerings.

The arsenal includes a fastball that steadily clocks around 92-93 MPH but can reach higher along with a plus slider that has sweeping movement and is considered his out pitch. He also tosses a curve ball along with a change up, both of which he is looking to improve to above average or better.

Thompson is as no-doubt-about-it of a future big league starter as the Phillies have in their developmental ranks. He's a bull on the mound with the goods to compete at the upper levels of the sport very soon. Look for him in red pinstripes by 2017 at the latest.





Follow this year's full prospect countdown by clicking this link.

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