The time has come for the Phillies to test out the young guns in the rotation. The Phillies announced on Wednesday that Jake Thompson will make his MLB debut on Saturday night in San Diego against the Padres. He is making his debut not just because of Aaron Nola’s DL trip with a right elbow strain, but also due to his fantastic pitching for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs.
Rated the 34th best prospect in the league for 2016 by Baseball Prospectus, there are high expectations that come with this call-up. Thompson was one of the prospects acquired by the Philadelphia Phillies in return for dealing Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers almost exactly one year ago today.
Manager Pete Mackanin believes that he has the firepower to stay in this rotation for good.
“I know he’s got Major League stuff, and I’m anxious to see him perform,” said MacKanin.
Thompson is not a player who will overpower you, throwing fastballs in the lower 90s. He possesses great command and throws four different pitches effectively and has an extremely high ground ball rate which should help him in the big leagues.
The 22-year-old Texan has had an impressive 2016 season for the AAA affiliate. He is 11-5 with a 2.50 ERA in 21 games for the Iron Pigs. In his first year in this league, it’s been impressive to watch his play. In fact, in the past 11 games, he has a 1.21 ERA, shutting down offenses night in and night out.
Thompson should be given a decent opportunity on the big league squad. As per Mackanain, the Phillies starters have been relatively banged up. It would not be a shock to see a guy like Jared Eickhoff (also acquired in the Hamels deal) and Vince Velazquez making starts by the end of the month giving the younger prospects a chance to prove themselves.
Thompson will officially be the 2000th player to play for the historic Philadelphia Phillies franchise, and the coaching staff hopes that he shines the way he is projected to.