Who is Bubba Thompson, the pinch-runner Yankees claimed off waivers?

Yankees sign Bubba Thompson on January 4, 2024.

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On January 4, 2024, the Yankees acquired two players. While the attention was fixed on pitcher Cody Poteet, the team claimed outfielder Bubba Thompson off waivers from the Cincinnati Reds.

While Bubba Thompson may currently be a peripheral piece, the Yankees’ outfield presents a robust depth chart. From the slugging prowess of Judge and Soto to Verdugo‘s adaptability, the Bombers have abundant power. Young talents like Dominguez, Grishman, and Cabrera contribute further intrigue, while Gonzalez and Pereira enhance the team’s overall depth.

Who is Bubba Thompson

A former first-round selection, Bubba Thompson hasn’t yet set the majors ablaze with his batting prowess. His statistics over two seasons with the Rangers depict a narrative of modest offensive output (.242/.286/.305) and a knack for base thievery (22 successful steals in 27 attempts). However, Bubba Thompson’s true standout feature lies in his elite speed, ranking among the top 1% in the league. Imagine Usain Bolt wielding a bat, with an added touch of decent outfield defense.

Yankees sign Bubba Thompson on January 4, 2024.
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In the minors, Bubba Thompson’s swiftness translated into an impressive 150 steals over six seasons, cementing his reputation as a speedster. Now, with two option years remaining, his probable route back to the majors lies through the role of a pinch runner, poised to infuse that extra surge of energy when the situation demands.

Bubba Thompson took the long road to Yankee pinstripes. A three-sport prep standout, Thompson flashed five-tool potential on the diamond for McGill-Toolen Catholic High while also starring on the gridiron. After originally committing to Auburn for baseball, the centerfielder was selected 26th overall by the Texas Rangers in 2017’s MLB draft.

His pro journey featured ups and downs as injuries hampered his progress early on. But he ultimately rose through the Ranger’s system, showcasing blazing speed and defensive prowess in the outfield. After earning a big-league call-up in 2022, Thompson debuted with Texas and flashed electrifying speed on the bases.

A waiver claim by the Royals and then Reds followed in 2023 before the promising Alabama product landed in the Bronx. The New York Yankees added Thompson to their roster on January 4, then placed designated him for assignment on January 19, after which he was picked up by the Minnesota Twins on January 24. The Twins designated Thompson for assignment on February 7 due to several waiver claims, leading to him being reclaimed by the Reds on February 13.

Therefore, when the headlines don’t blare Bubba Thompson, recognize him as a concealed speed asset. He may not be an everyday starter, but when the call arises for a lightning bolt on the basepaths, rest assured that Bubba Thompson will be poised to answer.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

Standard Batting

YearTmGPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBBPos
2022TEX55181170184550191837560.2650.3020.3120.61376532220079/8HD
2023TEX3760531094104424160.170.2370.2830.524115011107H/9D8
GPAABRH2B3BHRRBISBCSBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSOPS+TBGDPHBPSHSFIBB
2 Yrs9224122328549111322511720.2420.2860.3050.591676823310
162 Game Avg.1624243934995162223399191270.2420.2860.3050.5916712045520
Baseball Reference

Career Graph

SB %
2022 AL 85.71 (8th)
Baseball Reference

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