Shortly after the Milwaukee Brewers victory over the Cubs on Tuesday, the Crew announced another August trade acquisition.
Jake Thompson has been with the Philadelphia Phillies for three years. He was once a hotshot prospect, that ranked in MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list back in 2015, ranking as the 51st best prospect in baseball.
What he’s done since then has been relatively disappointing.
Thompson has a 4.87 ERA in just 116.1 innings of work in the big leagues over the past three seasons. In 2018, Thompson has a 4.96 ERA in nine appearances out of the bullpen for Philadelphia. He was recently designated for assignment by the Phillies while he was with their Triple-A affiliate.
What did Jake Thompson cost the Brewers?
Not much. The Milwaukee Brewers acquired Thompson for cash considerations, and no prospects went in return. David Stearns bought low on a former top prospect that appears to be in need of a change of scenery.
Even the cash that the Brewers will send to the Phillies won’t be much. It certainly won’t be anything to break the bank. Thompson has been immediately optioned to Triple-A Colorado Springs. Righty Alec Asher was DFAed to make room for Thompson on the 40 man roster.
Why did the Brewers acquire Jake Thompson?
David Stearns is always looking for value and depth. Thompson was a highly regarded prospect a few years ago. At 24 years old, Thompson could still have a bright future ahead of him.
Thompson has struggled with command issues in his career. He owns a career 4.7 BB/9 and he’s never had a WHIP below 1.50.
There is clearly something the Brewers scouts see in Thompson that they believe they can fix. Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson has developed quite the reputation of fixing pitchers and getting the most out of them. This is another player for Johnson to work his magic on.
Coming up through the minors, Thompson’s big pitches were his fastball and his slider. Both were plus pitches and MLB Pipeline gave him the potential of being a No. 2 starter in the big leagues. While he’s clearly yet to reach that potential, there’s still a chance the Brewers can unlock it.
The Brewers have also acquired pitchers like Ariel Hernandez, Jordan Lyles, and now Thompson here in August that all have high potential, but haven’t reached their lofty ceilings yet. Just one more project for the Brewers minor league coaching staff to work on. If he finds success, they could possibly flip him later on.
It’s A Small World
A year later, Thompson was a part of the giant package the Rangers sent to the Phillies for Cole Hamels. Also in that package, was Alec Asher, who was just DFAed off the Brewers roster, to make room for Thompson.
Baseball can be funny sometimes.
The Milwaukee Brewers are always on the lookout for organizational depth. While it’s unlikely Thompson has a major impact on the big league club this season, he could be a factor in the plans for 2019 if he can turn things around.