May 27, 2024

Former highly-touted prospect Bubba Thompson is among the players released by the Minnesota Twins in a shakeup of their roster. The Twins officially added Carlos Santana, Jay Jackson, and Zach Weiss to their lineup but had to designate Thompson and two others for assignment to accommodate the additions. The announcement of these moves came from the Twins on Wednesday, as they made two signings and claimed one player off waivers while parting ways with three notable individuals.

Reds claim Bubba Thompson on waivers from Royals - Lone Star Ball

Carlos Santana, a first baseman/designated hitter, and relief pitcher Jay Jackson were both formally included in the roster after reportedly joining the Twins through free agency in the recent week. Additionally, Minnesota acquired pitcher Zack Weiss from the Boston Red Sox, who had designated him for assignment on Jan. 31.

To create space for these new additions, the Twins designated reliever Daniel Duarte, former top prospect Jordan Balazovic, and former Texas Rangers standout Bubba Thompson for assignment. Of the three, Thompson stands out notably, having hit waivers for the fifth time in the past six months alone.

Thompson’s journey began when he was drafted by the Rangers in the first round of the 2017 MLB Draft, where he remained until August 2023. Since then, he has had stints with the Kansas City Royals, Cincinnati Reds, New York Yankees, and now the Twins.

In the 2023 season, Thompson posted a batting average of .260 with two home runs, 17 RBI, 16 stolen bases, and a .740 OPS in 32 games with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate in Round Rock. After joining the Royals’ Triple-A team in Omaha, he hit .259 with four home runs, 17 RBI, 11 stolen bases, and a .723 OPS in 33 games.

At the major league level in 2023, Thompson appeared in 37 games for the Rangers, batting .170 with a .520 OPS. In 2022, his numbers were more respectable, hitting .265 with a .613 OPS in 55 games.

Throughout his minor league career, the 25-year-old has averaged 20 home runs, 81 RBI, and 58 stolen bases per 162 games. As recently as 2022, he boasted a .304 batting average with an .829 OPS in Triple-A.

Thompson has struggled against left-handed pitchers in the majors, hitting only .165 compared to his .285 average against righties. However, he has demonstrated above-average speed, stealing 22 bases out of 27 attempts in his MLB career.

Once ranked among the top five prospects in the Texas system from 2018 to 2019, Thompson’s stock has since dropped, landing him at No. 29 on MLB Pipeline’s list in 2022.

Despite his recent setbacks, Thompson’s ability to find new teams suggests that there is still demand for his skillset, even if his trajectory has taken a different path than initially expected.

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