Love Letters From Pronk is an ongoing series where Pronk shares his love for somebody connected to the Cubs. Sometimes funny, sometimes weird, Pronk likes to make 100% sure people know that they are loved, and best expresses that through gushing letters. Today's pick: Keegan Thompson.
Keegan Thompson is a bit of a sneak. Never ranked as a top prospect, he worked his way up through the Cubs minor league system with little fanfare. Drafted in the 3rd round in 2017, he was a college pitcher with a fastball, slider, curve and changeup. He was successful in the lower minors, and most recently ranked at the 14th overall prospect in the organization.
He pitched in 23 games in AA in 2018, then was hurt a good chunk of 2019. He did not see any action in 2020, so it was a bit of a surprise to see him make it to the show this year. But he does have a 3.46 ERA in the minors, so perhaps he had more upside than we gave him credit for. How does he do it? A real low HR rate and walk rate: only .6 and 2.2 per 9 in the minors.
Since making the show, he's pitched well. He was brought up and made his debut on May 2nd, then was forced into a spot start on May 4th. He's thrown 10.1 innings, given up 8 hits and 1 unearned run. It's been quite the debut for Keegan, who just made Pitching Ninja:
Now today he makes my list, as he's earned his love letter easily!
Welcome to the big leagues and to Wrigley Field! Congratulations on your nice debut. As the Cubs have been stretched thin, they've been on the ropes a few times in the last 2 weeks. Your solid pitching and timely innings has helped keep this season on track. Well done and keep it going!
You've shown enough raw stuff I think you might be able to stick around all season. That said, if hitters adjust and you get sent down to AAA, it will likely be good for your development. It will be a pit stop to rework things, not where your career will end up. I am confident that you've got what it takes to be a big leaguer.
It's been a quick and wild road for you since getting drafted, only 2 years and success in and up to AA. 2019 might have been a bit of a wash due to injury, then obviously last year's cancelled disappointment. Good job keeping it all together, staying focused on your craft, and enjoying some of the fruits of your labor. I wish nothing but success for you here in Chicago.
We need to work on a nickname for you. With your first name starting with K, we are obliged to move towards strikeouts. Kid K is already taken up by Kerry Wood. Since you're from Alabama, we could go with something country themed like "Southern Komfort." Or abbreviate your name to something like "Keeg." "Keeg stand?" Perhaps something with your last name too, like "K Town?"
Welcome to the show!