Acquired: Drafted 2019 (19th overall), Kentucky
In 2021: 2-10, 7.06 ERA, 22 games (19 starts), 82 Ks, 93 IP, 1.84 WHIP (Class AAA)
Scouting Report: In fairness, it could be argued all that separates Thompson, first-round college pitcher circa 2019, from Michael McGreevy, first-round college pitcher circa 2021, is that Thompson has had a chance to struggle in the pros and McGreevy has yet to face that possibility. Few players in the minors were challenged more than Thompson, who went from limited innings in 2019 to zero games in 2020 to being asked to lead a Class AAA rotation in 2021. Thompson had a grand total of 13 1/3 innings for a full-season affiliate before pitching 93 innings for Triple-A Memphis. The learning curve was unkind, complicated by erratic command (57 walks). The lefty righted his season with a strong showing in the offense-happy Arizona Fall League. In nine games (all in relief), Thompson had a 2.08 ERA and 22 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings. The 15 walks underscored an area of emphasis for Thompson because with his athleticism, his breaking pitch, and his above-average from the left he should be Liberatore’s wingman for years to come. The Cardinals already have a number picked out for him: He’s been chosen to be the first to wear No. 57 since the late Darryl Kile.
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Thompson starts in the season in the rotation for Class AAA Memphis.