The Phillies got themselves quite a haul when they sent former ace Cole Hamels to the Rangers. In return, they got Nick Williams, Matt Harrison, Jerad Eickhoff, Alec Asher, Jorge Alfaro and Jake Thompson. While both Eickhoff and Asher have spent time in the big leagues, Williams and Thompson seem the next likely duo to crack the roster, whether it be in September or next season.
Thompson, 22, was the coveted pitching prospect in the trade and he showed why, going 5-1 with a 1.80 ERA in seven starts after the trade with Double-A Reading. It was a big step up from his Double-A work with the Rangers organization, posting a 4.72 ERA in 17 starts. Thompson also got the opportunity to start for the Phillies Futures Team at Citizens Bank Park in early April. He looked solid facing big league hitters, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out four in five innings of work. He also made two starts in Spring Training for the Phils, allowing an unearned run on eight hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
His performance with Reading in 2015 earned him a start in Triple-A for 2016, but his results have been mixed at best, going 1-3 so far with a 6.16 ERA in 19 innings. Thompson made his first start of the season on April 8th, pitching five strong innings of one-run ball, striking out five. He followed that up with an outing against the Pawtucket Red Sox that only lasted three innings, during which he allowed five runs on five hits while walking three. The former 2012 second round pick rebounded his next time out, allowing two runs in six innings against Syracuse to earn his first win of the year. His most recent start was more rough going though, allowing five runs, two of which came via the home run, while striking out six.
Last season, Thompson allowed 25 earned runs over his first seven starts before settling in to limit opponents to two runs or less in seven of his next eight starts. In his three outings before being traded, Thompson got roughed up for 15 runs in 13.2 innings, but immediately went on to make seven starts for Reading, not allowing more than two runs the rest of the season.
The mixed results Thompson has endured isn't anything to be concerned about. With 2016 being his first season in Triple-A, there were going to be some growing pains. His trends show that he has strings of good and bad outings, but as he develops this season in Triple-A and adjusts to the hitters at that level, he'll should settle in nicely like he did in Reading last season.