College Baseball Daily continues our countdown to the start of the 2013 college baseball season by checking in on the Top 100 Players in the country. We will be providing one player per day until we reach number 1.
Number 85 on our Top 100 Countdown is Louisville’s Jeff Thompson. The 6’6 right-handed pitcher from Greenville, Indiana is one of the Big East’s top prospects for the 2013 draft.
In his two seasons with Louisville, Thompson has become an important part of the Cardinals’ rotation. As a freshman in 2011, Thompson saw time on the mound in both starting and relief roles, with five starts in 18 appearances. Thompson posted excellent numbers during his freshman season including an ERA of 2.75 and a walk to strikeout ratio of 18/43.
During his sophomore campaign, Thompson stepped into the role of the Cardinals’ primary Saturday starter. Thompson had another successful season for Louisville as he posted a 9-4 record with an ERA of 4.00 during 2012. One of the more impressive moments that Thompson had in the 2012 season included striking out a career-high of 11 batters in 6.2 innings pitched against Cincinnati, walking only two in the performance. His success throughout the season earned him accolades including Second Team All-Big East.
Thompson spent his summer pitching for the Bourne Braves in the prestigious Cape Cod League. Over the summer, Thompson posted an era of 3.95 including 36 strikeouts in his nine starts. The highlight of Thompson’s summer with the Braves was a six-inning no hitter against Harwich where he had nine strikeouts to lead the team to victory.
From a scouting perspective, it’s hard not to see the upside that Thompson has. His big body and athleticism leave a lot of room for imagination in terms of the power that can still be developed and harnessed. With a fastball that sits in the low 90s and a fantastic slider that sits at about 83, Thompson is developing a great repertoire of pitches that have already proven effective. Games like his 11-strikeout performance against Cincinnati are perhaps the most exciting glimpse at the upside that Thompson has. His strikeout capability is fantastic and with even more fine-tuning to his pitches that capability could escalate dramatically, making him one of the top 100 players to watch for in 2013.