LHP Zack Thompson, Kentucky
Zack Thompson spent his first two years at Kentucky without much fanfare and missed much of his sophomore year with a sore elbow. He turned things around this year and became the Friday night starter for his team, climbing his way up draft boards in the process.
In 14 starts and 90 innings this year, Thompson had a 2.40 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 130 strikeouts, and 34 walks. He threw two complete games, including a 13-strikeout effort in a shutout March 29 against Georgia.
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Thompson is a bit rawer than the other pitchers that I have mentioned but still ranks highly in a reasonably thin class for college pitchers. His stuff, especially his low-90s fastball, generates lots of swinging strikes, a huge asset in today’s game. Thompson’s fastball gets grades between above-average and plus.
Thompson’s main secondary pitch is his slider, which features some good break and velocity. It’s not as consistent as he would like though as it can still slow down and loosen up at times. He uses his curveball and changeup less often, with the latter rarely getting used. Both can be average or better but also lack consistency.
Philadelphia’s farm system is notably lacking any standout left-handed pitching prospects. Thompson would change that, adding a potential No. 4 starter to the organization. He would still have some developing to do, so he may not reach the majors as fast as other college starters.
Still, Thompson is worth some consideration if the Phillies want to select a pitcher in the first round this year after taking position players in the last four drafts. He’s one of the best lefties in the draft this year and would be a worthwhile addition to the farm system.