The Cardinals announced Tuesday that they’ve signed first-rounder Zack Thompson. The Athletic’s Mark Saxon reported minutes prior to the announcement that Thompson had agreed to terms and would receive a $3MM signing bonus, which checks in $359K south of his No. 19 overall slot value (Twitter link).
A left-handed pitcher out of the University of Kentucky, Thompson made 14 starts in 2019 and logged a 2.40 ERA with a 130-to-34 K/BB ratio over 90 innings as a junior. Scouting reports from Baseball America (No. 11), MLB.com (No. 14), Fangraphs (No. 18) and ESPN (No. 22) all agreed on two things: Thompson is a consensus first-round talent, and he might’ve gone higher in the draft had an elbow issue not held him out for much of his sophomore season in 2018.
Reports on Thompson praise him for a low-90s heater that can touch 96 mph and a slider, changeup and curveball that all have the potential to be anywhere from average to above-average offerings in pro ball. The 6’3″, 225-pound Thompson didn’t miss a start in 2019 and averaged a bit better than 6 1/3 innings per outing, which helped to quell some concerns about his previous elbow troubles.