Jake Thompson is one Phillies pitcher in the mix for a roster spot next season. Here’s a look at his 2017 season and his chances moving forward.
The Phillies look forward to the 2018 with a solid core, but new manager Gabe Kapler and his staff have much work to do moving forward with the pitching staff. One pitcher on the mix is 23-year old right-hander Jake Thompson, who posted solid numbers in the majors after a poor 2017 season at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Thompson appeared in 10 games as a starter in 2016, posting 3-6 record and 5.70 ERA. His numbers were spectacular at Triple-A posting an 11-5 mark with a 2.50 ERA in 129 2/3 innings. Despite the lackluster showing at the Major League level, hopes were high for the then 22-year old.
Surprisingly, Thompson struggled mightily for Lehigh Valley this season, posting a 5-14 with a 5.25 ERA. He allowed 136 hits and 47 walks in 118 1/3 innings. Despite the poor showing, Thompson posted solid numbers when called up.
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He appeared in three games in relief in May and allowed five earned runs on six hits. Again his biggest problem was his control, issuing four walks. His next appearance in the majors was on July 28, when he threw five shutout innings in a 10-3 win over the Braves.
Thompson struggled in his two starts in August, allowing 12 earned runs in 10 innings. He was hurt by the long ball, surrendering five home runs.
What appeared to be a lost season turned around for Thompson in September. While pitching six innings in a game only once, he allowed an earned run or less in four of his last five starts. Thompson finished September with a 2-1 record and a 2.73 ERA. He allowed only three home runs in 26 1/3 innings, while striking out 23 and walking 11.
All told, he finished his 2017 stint in the majors with a 3-2 record and 3.88 ERA. In 46 1/3 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 35, while allowing 50 hits and nine home runs.
While his overall numbers weren’t spectacular, Thompson showed enough in September to warrant a decent grade. Give him an A- for September and a C+ overall grade for his major league performance.
Look for the big, 23-year old right-hander to be a strong competitor for the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation next season.