Thompson, 26 in June, has bounced around quite a bit in the past six months. Designated for assignment by the Rangers in August, he has since gone to the Royals, Reds and Yankees via waiver claims. That’s likely a reflection of his uneven profile, as he’s an excellent defender with elite speed, but poor hitting results thus far. That makes him enticing enough for clubs to take a shot on him but not enough for him to hang onto a roster spot.
He has 92 games of major league experience to this point, all of it with the Rangers. In 241 plate appearances, he has hit .242/.286/.305 thus far in his big league career, production that translates to a wRC+ of 65. His Triple-A work is a bit better, as he’s hit .284/.347/.440 at that level since the start of 2022, but that production is still subpar with a wRC+ of 95.
But despite that tepid offense, he continues to appeal to clubs for other reasons, as mentioned. His sprint speed ranked third in the majors last year, with just Elly De La Cruz and Bobby Witt Jr. outpacing him on the Statcast rankings. That speed has surely helped him steal 22 bases in 27 tries to this point in his career while also allowing him to track down balls in the outfield.
The Yankees will now have a week to trade him or try to pass him through waivers. If he were to pass through waivers unclaimed, he could stick in the organization as non-roster depth, but it’s also possible another club takes a chance on him. He still has two options and could be kept in the minors to work on his hitting by any club willing to give him a 40-man spot.