TJ For Thompson

Baseball America has learned that righthander Chad Thompson will undergo Tommy John surgery on May 1. An Arizona State commit, Thompson’s frame is a dream for scouts. He stands at 6-foot-8 and weighs in at 215 pounds. There were questions about his 94 mph fastball reading at the Perfect Game National Showcase, but things were looking up after an appearance in a scrimmage against lefthander Tyler Matzek and Capistrano Valley High (Mission Viejo, Calif.).

Thompson made four starts for El Toro and went 4-0, 0.27 in 26 innings with 45 strikeouts and just five walks. His last start came on March 27 in which he pitched against Irivne’s Woodbridge High and gave up a season-high eight hits, which led to three runs (one earned). Dave Perkin had a report on Thompson from the scrimmage:

With his showing in this preseason scrimmage game against Tyler Matzek and Capo Valley HS, Thompson has now "arrived". His previous outings were less than stellar, and his fastball was a rather ordinary 86 to 88 offering. Rumors about Thompson touching 94 in the summer at a Minneapolis showcase were dismissed, since the Metrodome is known for questionable gun readings. In addition, Thompson had not thrown above 90 in a half-dozen subsequent appearances. To his credit, Thompson’s fastball in this game registered a blistering 91 to 93, peaking at 94. With his build and stuff, comparisons to Chris Tillman are natural. At a similar stage, however, Tillman possessed a much better curve. Chad’s breaking ball is poor, thrown at 75 with nary a wrinkle and no two-plane movement. His change is promising, flashing arm-side movement and quick dipping action at 78. Mechanics are still a concern with Thompson. He throws both across and around himself, landing his plant foot in line with the right handed hitters box and not home plate. That is a major red flag for scouts. Nonetheless, Thompson is to be commended for showing vast improvement in his arm strength, and once his technical problems are solved, he has a chance to be a big league pitcher. At this stage, he profiles as a second to third round pick in the 2009 draft.