Tigers Scouting Report #21: Jeff Thompson

Thompson debuted for West Mich in 2013

After being snagged in the 3rd round of the 2013 Draft, Jeff Thompson wasted no time getting to work, impressing for the Whitecaps in the final couple months of the year. Find out why Thompson is a name to watch as someone who might be knocking on the big league door soon.

Jeff Thompson

Vitals

Position: Right-handed Pitcher
Date of Birth: 9/23/1991 (2014 Opening Day Age: 22)
Height/Weight: 6-6/245
Bats/Throws: Right/Right
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.

Performance:

2013 Stats - Pitching
TEAMGGSSVIPHHRRERBBSOHBPERAWHIPW/L
West Mich 146145.04132119194223.801.332-2


Scouting Report

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.

Final Word

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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