Thompson will join the Phillies in spring training this year, CSN Philly's Jim Salisbury reports. The big right-hander, who turns 22 at the end of January, is with his third organization in two years after coming over from Texas in the Cole Hamels trade. His plus slider and mid-90s fastball will allow him to be good for about a strikeout per inning in his peak years, but he will probably settle in with a WHIP north of 1.25 and an ERA in the 3.50-4.00 range, at least in his first few seasons in the big leagues. He has done all he can at Double-A and should head to Triple-A to start the year. Look for him to debut in Philadelphia sometime this summer.
The Phillies have at least received strength in numbers from the Rangers in return for stud left-hander Cole Hamels. They get six players back, including four pitchers. The lone experienced hurler is left-hander Matt Harrison, who is coming off a back injury that has limited him to three starts this season. The only non-pitchers are catcher Jorge Alfaro and outfielder Nick Williams, who has compiled a fine .299/.357/.470 slash line this season with 13 homers and 10 stolen bases at Double-A Frisco. He has put together the best season of all the players Philadelphia is getting back. Alfaro is at .253/.314/.432 at Frisco. The Phillies also get back right-handers Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff. Thompson is 6-6 with a 4.72 ERA for Frisco with 78 strikeouts in 87 2/3 innings. Asher is 4-10 with a 4.43 ERA at Triple-A Round Rock. Eickhoff is 10-4 with a 4.11 ERA with the same team. He has fanned 107 in 111 2/3 innings. Thompson is considered a top-50 prospect by Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus. MLB.com ranks him as a top-100 prospect. Williams and Alfaro are also among Baseball Prospectus' top-50 and MLB.com's top-100 lists.
The Rangers have acquired pitchers Corey Knebel and Jake Thompson from the Tigers. Texas will give up closer Joakim Soria in the deal. Knebel has tossed 8 2/3 innings in the majors this season, but has mostly pitched in the minors. He has a 1.62 ERA spread over two levels. Thompson is currently in Double-A. He's posted a 3.06 ERA over two levels.
The Phillies had a scout at Double-A Erie's game Wednesday to watch Tigers pitching prospect Jake Thompson, MLB.com reports. Thompson, who struck out the only two batters he faced in the All-Star Futures Game earlier this month, gave up one run in five innings and struck out five in this outing. The Tigers are on the lookout for bullpen help and could be a match with the Phillies, who have Jonathan Papelbon and Antonio Bastardo on the market.
One day after appearing in the 2014 Futures Game, Tigers pitching prospect Jake Thompson was promoted to Double-A Erie Monday. Thompson came through in his Futures Game appearance, striking out the only two batters he faced. It was an exclamation point to a first half that saw the prospect go 6-4 with a 3.14 ERA and 79:25 K:BB ratio in 83 innings over 16 starts with high Class A Lakeland.
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