- Full name Bradley Joseph Thompson
- Born 01/31/1982 in Las Vegas, NV
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Dixie State
- Debut 05/08/2005
- Drafted in the 16th round (492nd overall) by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2002.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Thompson drew national notice at Tennessee, opening with 49 straight scoreless innings to set a Southern League record. The streak seemed to take a toll on him, however, as he lost strength in his shoulder and had to be shut down for two months. He came back at the end of the season and pitched well in limited Arizona Fall League duty. Command and approach are Thompson's best attributes. He works hitters inside and outside, and changes speeds and elevations. His best pitch is an 89-91 mph sinker, and he complements it with a sharp slider. Thompson doesn't overpower hitters, so he has to be sharp. His changeup needs more work if he's to get big league lefthanders out. His shoulder problems raised questions about whether he can handle a starter's workload. While Thompson's performance means he'll get the opportunity to pitch in the Triple-A rotation, he might be more useful as a middle reliever down the road. In that role, he could move quickly, as St. Louis pitching coach Dave Duncan loves groundball pitchers.
Thompson has been in the right place at the right time a lot recently. He was going to walk on at the CC of Southern Nevada after graduating from high school, but attended Dixie (Utah) JC. The Cardinals spotted him there while scouting his teammate, infielder Kyle Boyer, and drafted both of them in 2002. After a strong pro debut last year, Thompson was in instructional league when Josh Kinney hurt his shoulder in the Arizona Fall League. Chosen to replace Kinney, Thompson put up a 1.59 in nine AFL appearances. His main pitches are a low-90s sinker and the best slider in the system. He worked on adding a changeup in instructional league after never really using one before. Thompson throws strikes but has to locate his pitches better in the strike zone because he has been hittable. Though he has set up and closed so far as a pro, he projects as a middle reliever in the big leagues. He could open at Double-A with a good spring, though he's more likely to start 2004 back in high Class A.
Minor League Top Prospects
Thompson attracted national attention early in the season by starting off with 49 straight scoreless innings, a league record. The streak seemed to take a toll on him as the season wore on, however, as a tired arm sent him to the disabled list and limited him to a total of 87 innings for the season. "The scoreless thing took a little juice out of him," Tennessee manager Mark DeJohn said. "Those are not normal innings, when you're trying to be careful with every pitch." Thompson earned the inevitable comparisons to Greg Maddux because he's a righthander who succeeds with his command and approach more than with his stuff. He works his low-90s fastball in and out and keeps it down. He also showed a sharp slider, but his changeup needs work. Some observers wondered whether he could handle the grind of starting.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Control in the St. Louis Cardinals in 2005
- Rated Best Control in the Southern League in 2004