- Full name Kevin Deshawn Thompson
- Born 09/18/1979 in Fort Worth, TX
- Profile Ht.: 5'10" / Wt.: 195 / Bats: R / Throws: R
- School Grayson CC
- Debut 06/03/2006
- Drafted in the 31st round (951st overall) by the New York Yankees in 1999.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Thompson started the 2005 season well in Double-A and even earned a start in the Futures Game, but he wasn't as impressive in the second half after a promotion to Triple-A. He remains unrefined for a player of his age and experience level. He's slump-prone in part because of his makeup, as Yankees officials use phrases such as "nervous energy," "edgy" and "emotional" to describe him. Thompson has raw power potential and carries his pop into games when he's aggressive yet disciplined at the plate. The Yankees would like him to play that way defensively. While he has center-field tools, he's tentative with his jumps and still lacks savvy, such as proper positioning, throwing to the right cutoff man and knowing when to dive for a ball. He's one of the organization's faster runners and has improved his basestealing ability. Thompson almost certainly will return to Triple-A in 2006.
The Yankees have been patient with Thompson, who finally experienced his first success above Class A last season and was sent to the Arizona Fall League. He hit a grand slam in his first game in Arizona, and few players in the system can match his power-speed combination. Thompson has plenty of tools, with his 70 speed (on the 20-80 scouting scale) being his best. He also has a plus arm and average hitting ability and power. Most of his home runs come to the pull side and he doesn't generate much opposite-field pop. Thompson never seems to put everything together. He doesn't carry adjustments from batting practice to games, and he's not fundamentally sound. He has the tools to play center field, though he lacks the instincts and savvy to man the position full-time. He does show good baserunning instincts, and the Yankees believe he may be starting to get it. Offseason elbow surgery kept him out of the lineup until June, but when he returned, he hit much better in Double-A than he had in 2003. He profiles best an energetic, explosive fourth outfielder.
Another draft-and-follow project signed by Texas area scout Mark Batchko, who also landed Brandon Claussen and Sean Henn, Thompson was a shortstop/second baseman in junior college. He played on Grayson County's back-to-back Junior College World Series championship teams with the Angels' John Lackey. Thompson played seven games at second base in his 2000 pro debut before moving to center field, where he has emerged as one of the best defensive outfielders in the system along with Marcus Thames and Matt Carson. A plus runner (65 on the 20-80 scouting scale), Thompson led the organization in steals while getting caught just seven times in 2002. He makes consistent contact with a direct stroke and solid bat control, and shows an advanced understanding of strike-zone judgment. He should fare much better in his second attempt at high Class A and profiles as a versatile fourth outfielder.