Rays second-round pick, RHP Jacob Thompson, ready to sign
The Rays hit the jackpot four years ago in drafting Evan Longoria from Long Beach State.
And they hope they've got another impact player from that school Tuesday, selecting hard-throwing right-hander Jacob Thompson in the second round.
Thompson said he was thrilled Tuesday to find out the Rays selected him, saying he's admired what they've done, and how manager Joe Maddon runs the team. And Thompson is eager to get started in his professional career.
“I definitely want to sign," Thompson said. "I’ve worked three years to get to this point. I don’t see any point in messing around and playing hardball.”
According to Long Beach State coach Troy Buckley - who took over for long-time coach Mike Weathers - Thompson throws hard - with a fastball that ranges between 90-96 ("and comfortably at 92"), while also boasting a changeup, curveball and a cutter, which he's started using the last couple months. Buckley said Thompson has some work to do in terms of improving his fastball command, and developing the cutter, but he's got what it takes.
“He has a chance to be an impact (pitcher)," Buckley said. "He’s got tools across the board. There’s no red flags in his delivery. He’s got the velocity. he’s got the changeup. and he knows how to work.”