Asheville, NC- Bubba Thompson helped to lead the Hickory Crawdads to a series win over the Asheville Tourists this past week in impressive fashion.
Going 4-11 with a home run, a triple, 2 runs, 3 RBI and 2 walks, Thompson showed the upside that made him a first round pick for the Texas Rangers in 2017.
Thompson is a very intriguing prospect. A former quarterback at McGill-Toolen in Mobile (Ala.) who had quite a few offers to play at high division one schools, Thompson elected to play baseball instead, and the decision has been a solid one thus far.
Hitting .283 this year with 7 homers, 35 RBI and 25 steals in 70 games for the Crawdads, Thompson has been a very good leadoff hitter, contributing in multiple ways, both offensively and defensively.
At 6-foot-2, 180 pounds, he has a smooth, but quick righty swing with a good amount of pop, and the speed that when he hits it into a gap, he can stretch it into a triple without blinking, as he showed in game one at McCormick Field. He’s going to continue to get stronger without question, but it will be interesting to see how his game continues to evolve as he moves up in the system.
Thompson has solid plate discipline despite only focusing on two sports for an extended period of time as well. He only struck out twice in the three games in Asheville, which was impressive. He worked the counts well, fouling off multiple full count pitches against one of the Tourists top bullpen arms, Tommy Doyle, before singling in a run to solidify a late lead.
Defensively, he has a very good arm out in center that clearly comes from being a high level high school quarterback in the past. He can improve on his routes out in center at times, but that being said, he’s an above average defender for sure.
Ranked as the No. 10 prospect in the Rangers organization by MLB Pipeline, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Thompson rise up those rankings in the offseason and beyond, given his all-around tools, and more time to develop.
Photo: Tracy Proffitt