The Boston Red Sox took their continued interest in Siuslaw High School alumni and Beavers pitcher Jake Thompson a step further today, when the Major League Baseball team drafted the red shirt junior during the fourth round with the No. 131 overall pick.
Thompson, a 6-foot-2 right-hander, has received national attention for his performance in Oregon State University's pitching rotation this season, where he is 14-0 with a 1.52 ERA as the Beavers head to the College World Series.
Thompson was recently named a first-team All-American by Baseball America
and Collegiate Baseball.
Though he still has a season of eligibility remaining with the Beavers, Thompson is expected to sign with the Red Sox.
A Florence native, Thompson is currently ranked fifth in the nation after throwing 113 strikeouts and just 36 walks in 118 1/3 innings. So far this season, batters have hit .184 against him in 18 appearances.
According to one MLB scout, Thompson's ability to throw breaking balls for
strikes seemingly at-will is a big enticement.
"That's probably the most impressive thing I've seen him do, and he can do
it at any time," he said.
Thompson's no-nonsense pitching style has served him well as he has developed his ability in tandem with growing confidence — elements that came together and propelled him to a new level this season.
As a freshman, Thomspon had 14 appearances for the Beavers, including a start in the 2014 NCAA regionals before missing most of the 2015 season with a back injury.
"I didn't really have the mindset to attack hitters and know what to throw against them, and how to make small adjustments throughout the game," Thompson said in April of his early outtings for the Beavers.
This season, however, Thompson said his mental approach and physical tools
finally came together.
The reported potential earnings for Thompson in the MLB would be an annual salary of around $397,800 to start.
In 2013, the Chicago Cubs picked Thompson during the 34th round of the MLB
draft, but Thompson opted not to sign in order to continue his development and pursuit of a business degree.
Thompson was one of three OSU players drafted this week, along with right-handed pitcher Drew Rasmussen (31st overall) and first baseman KJ Harrison (84th overall).