It’s finally MLB Draft season, and the St. Louis Cardinals decided to select Zack Thompson with the 19th pick of the Draft. How good can he be?
With the 19th pick of the 2019 MLB Draft, the St. Louis Cardinals have selected Zack Thompson, a left-handed pitcher out of the University of Kentucky. Thompson is the first left-handed pitcher to be selected by the Cardinals in the first round since they selected Marco Gonzalez out of Gonzaga.
The Cardinals desperately needed left-handed pitching in their farm system, with only two solid left-handed pitchers in the whole entire system in Austin Gomber and Genesis Cabrera. Thompson could potentially fill the need the Cardinals were longing for.
Thompson brings a lot of upside to the table, he has a four-pitch repertoire and can hit 96 mph with movement, and a nasty slider that can fool hitters with ease. You could honestly argue that Thompson is one of the best left-handed pitchers in this draft class, and he fell right into the St. Louis Cardinals hands at 19.
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Thompson has struggled with injuries in the past though, when he was selected by the Tampa Bay Rays back in 2016 in the 11th round, he failed his physical to join the team, and decided to honor his commitment to Kentucky and try his luck in the draft three years later.
During his freshman year at Kentucky, Thompson showed a lot of potential and even made his way into the starting rotation where he showed out with a 3.45 ERA to go with 95 strikeouts. His ability to strike out batters was becoming well known, and the future was bright for the Kentucky southpaw.
His sophomore year was less than ideal though, where he suffered a shoulder injury and missed a lot of time. Upon returning, he struggled mightily with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.420 WHIP. Thompson bounced back his junior year, with a 2.40 ERA paired with 130 strikeouts, which was third in all of the SEC. Thompson was named as a second-team All-American for the 2019 season and showed that he was one of the best pitchers in all of the country.
In my opinion, this is a great pick, Thompson shows a lot of upside and solidifies the need of a quality lefty in the farm system, now let’s see if Thompson can live up to the hype and stay healthy.