[ed. note - “With interest in the Washington Nationals’ farm system at a high level, Federal Baseball has begun a series featuring the top 30 prospects in the system as of late last season, according to Baseball America. We will start with No. 30 and work our way to the top over the next few weeks, with one prospect highlighted each weekday.”]
WASHINGTON – In the first 54 games of his minor league career, Mason Thompson was used as a starting pitcher 48 times in the San Diego farm system.
Now the tall right-hander is entrenched as a reliever and figures to be in the mix for an Opening Day roster stop with the Nationals in 2022.
A third-round pick in 2016 by the Padres, the Texas native appeared in four games with the Friars last year and then in 27 for Washington after he was acquired along with infielder Jordy Barley in the trade for Virginia native Daniel Hudson last July 30th.
Thompson had his share of success and failures in his first stint with manager Dave Martinez and the Nationals.
In August, he was hammered in a game against the Mets on the road.
“Obviously, starting off with J.D. Davis, I felt like I missed out over the plate,” Thompson said to reporters when asked what went wrong on the mound in NY.
“[Davis] did a good job of hitting the ball the other way down the line. And then obviously a big error there following that, but I felt like I did a good job after that of continuing to battle. I mean, didn’t necessarily hit a ball extremely hard after that, gave up a couple of hits.”
“One of those things where got to get the leadoff guy out and then when you don’t, you got to make the play and when they’re giving you an out, got to make the play, get the out, and make your job a lot easier,” he added.
According to Baseball America, Thompson has a fastball in the mid to high-90s with a slider in the upper 80s. The 6-foot-7 hurler was drafted out of high school by the Padres.
“He had his struggles,” Martinez said of Thompson’s time in the majors this season, “but in moments he showed signs that he can be really good in the bullpen for us.”