SoxProspects News

June 13, 2017 at 2:24 PM

Red Sox select Jake Thompson with their fourth-round pick


With their fourth-round pick (131st overall) in the 2017 MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Red Sox selected Jake Thompson, a right-handed pitcher from Oregon State University. The 23-year-old junior was ranked 71st by MLB.com, 79th by Perfect Game USA, and 83rd by Baseball America.

It has been a steady rise for the 6-foot-2, 205-pounder who redshirted his freshman season before missing all of 2015 with a back injury, then returned with mixed results in 2016. He really turned it on in 2017, just as the highly ranked Oregon State team did, finishing the year with the second-best ERA in the country as the Beavers' Sunday starter.

Thompson's fastball has always gotten scouts' attention, which Baseball America notes has touched 98 mph, though it sits more 93-94 mph when he starts. MLB.com gives the pitch a future grade of 60 to go with a 55 slider and 50 changeup. It was thought he was best suited to a bullpen role, but that is no longer certain after he simplified his delivery this season (which Baseball America says now compares to David Price's delivery) and lowered his walk rate considerably. The sites agree that the development of his changeup and command will likely determine whether Thompson winds up in the bullpen or rotation.

Slot for the 131st pick is $397,800, and because Thompson is a 23-year-old four-year collegiate player—albeit one with a year of eligibility remaining—Baseball America speculates that he may be more likely to sign than other college juniors and possibly cut a deal.

Scouting info was compiled from industry publications including Baseball America, Perfect Game USA, ESPN, and MLB.com.

Photo Credit: Jake Thompson by Oregon Live.

Will Woodward is a Senior Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter @SPWill.

 
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