The righty hasn't quite yet earned the title of organizational soldier but he's closing in on it. Twice drafted by the White Sox, he signed after his redshirt junior year at Auburn in 2009. Until the AZL White Sox began play last week, Thompson had appeared for every stateside affiliate at one point or another.
His minor league production is impressive but the 27-year-old fits into the category of a pitcher whose stuff is good enough to get minor leaguers out but probably not quite good enough to get major league ones out. He's got a low 90s fastball that he can sink and a slider that has a good 10 MPH difference from his fastballs but doesn't quite have the requisite bite.
In prior seasons, that profile wouldn't have gotten Thompson a sniff at a spot in the White Sox bullpen. He started 2014 probably 10th on the bullpen depth chart. His results with Charlotte haven't been particularly noteworthy. While he's struck out 27.1% of batters in 38 innings, he's walking an uncharacteristically high 12.1%. But with injury and ineffectiveness all around him, he's found himself rocketed to near the top of the depth chart.
Since I wrote that, he's seen both his strikeout rate and walk rate decline to 25.6% and 11.6%, respectively. Still, when I looked this morning at the options for the bullpen, he was the only guy I thought they'd bring up since there simply isn't anything left in the cupboard.
As mentioned above, the White Sox drafted Thompson twice out of Auburn University, first in 2008 in the 25th round and then in the 44th round in 2009. He's a big guy, listed at 6'5", though probably an inch less, but he's every bit of his listed 225 lb. In addition to his two fastballs and slider, as Steve wrote last month, Thompson also throws a splitter.
As he was not a member of the 40-man roster, and that roster was full, the White Sox moved Felipe Paulino to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Thompson.