Phillies top pitching prospect Jake Thompson could be on his way to big leagues soon
As noted by Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly, Jeremy Hellickson and top pitching prospect Jake Thompson’s starts have been lined up as they exit the all-star break. Doing this sets the Phillies up to make a move within their pitching staff at the trade deadline.
Hellickson pitched Friday night, and was pulled after just six innings after allowing four runs on seven hits. Thompson pitched seven shutout innings for Lehigh Valley in their 10-0 win at home.
The righty Thompson threw more than 63% of his pitches for strikes on Friday; an encouraging sign for the 22-year-old looking to take the next step in his professional career.
With the trade deadline creeping up, it’s no surprise the Phillies are setting themselves up for the aftermath of a Hellickson trade.
Jim Salisbury broke down the Phillies situation and how they are approaching the trade deadline.
"“What was interesting about Hellickson’s place in the post-break rotation is it coincided with Jake Thompson’s place in Triple A Lehigh Valley’s post-break rotation. It was probably no coincidence at all that Thompson also pithed Friday night. It’s mid-July. The trade deadline is approaching. Plenty of teams are looking for a back-end, veteran starter like Hellickson and he is very much available.”"
Jake Thompson has been excellent this season, holding batters to a .227 batting average. Among International League pitchers, he ranks among the leaders in wins, innings pitched, ERA, and WHIP.
Over his last 10 starts, he is 6-1 with a 1.78 ERA.
Hellickson has been named in multiple trade rumors, including the Boston Red Sox and Texas Rangers. The former AL Rookie of the Year was acquired by the Phillies from Arizona over the offseason, and is in the final year of his contract.
Should Hellickson be moved and Thompson be called up, the Phillies rotation would list as followed: Vince Velasquez, Aaron Nola, Jake Thompson, Jerad Eickhoff, and Zack Eflin. A pretty impressive set of names early in the rebuilding process.
At the same time, we can not forget about prospects Mark Appel, Ben Lively, Nick Pevetta, and Franklyn Kilome. Each are expected to reach the big leagues around 2018.