Checking in with the Astros’ Double-A Hooks.
Even after a poor start to the second half of the season, the Corpus Christi Hooks are still firmly in control of the Texas League South Division. Some of their regression has occurred due to the pitching getting worse as time went on. A few pitchers, though, such as Francis Martes and David Paulino, have gotten better as the year went on. One pitcher who has quietly improved the bullpen for the Hooks is Ryan Thompson, a mid-season call-up from Lancaster.
Thompson has been one of the best pitchers out of the bullpen for Corpus Christi this season. He has always in his minor league career been a shutdown guy out of the pen. Thompson was drafted in 2014 in the 23rd round. He started his rookie year in a closer role with Tri-City and converted 12 out of 13 save opportunities, even though his WHIP was fairly high (1.27).
Last year he impressed as well with a combined 3.00 ERA between Quad Cities and Lancaster. Though he wasn’t as good this year with Lancaster, a 5.09 ERA, he still got the call-up to Corpus Christi and hasn’t looked back.
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Though Ryan Thompson has not ever really been a high strikeout guy, he is still able to get people out through ground balls and fly outs. He is also a full-time reliever who can really help a team in the pen, whether he is closing or just a reliever. He can pitch as short as one-hitter, or he can also go four innings of long relief. He is a very versatile reliever.
This year has been the tale of two cities for Thompson. Before the promotion to Corpus Christi, he had a 5.09 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. But since the promotion he has been on fire, pitching to the tune of a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP in 15 appearances so far. In his last ten appearances, he has allowed just one run and had a 0.54 ERA in those games. He has been a splendid option for the Hooks.
If Ryan Thompson were to make it to the major league level, he would most likely be a 6th or 7th inning guy for the Astros. Without the ability to strike a ton of hitters out, it will be interesting to see if his game translates to the major leagues. With the usually high WHIP combined major league hitters, time will tell whether Thompson is successful.
*All stats via milb.com*