Analysis

Prospects Thompson, Williams impress in Reading debuts

Jake Thompson and Nick Williams, two of the biggest pieces the Phillies acquired in the deal that sent Cole Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman to the Texas Rangers, kickstarted their Phillies tenures in impressive style last night for Double-A Reading.

The Fightin’ Phils beat up on the Trenton Thunder, 7-1, with Thompson and Williams both playing a big part in the win.

The 21-year-old Williams finished 2-5 in his Reading debut, while Thompson pitched seven solid innings en route to his first win in the Phillies’ organization.

On the hill, Thompson scattered six hits and one earned run. He was quite efficient with his pitch count, as The 21-year-old only threw 75 pitches (51 strikes) through seven innings. His low pitch count was in part to the right-hander’s ability to pitch to contact.

“The first few innings I didn’t try to blow people away with fastballs, really wasn’t going after strikeouts, was trying to generate weak contact and I was able to do that,” said Thompson in a post-game interview.

Williams, who made his debut batting leadoff, secured his first hit on just the second pitch in his first at-bat. In the outfield, he played a clean game, catching everything hit his way.

“I’ve been off for five days, so I was nervous about how my at-bats were going to go, but it turned out good,” Williams said in a post-game interview. “Seeing my name as leadoff hitter today, I was like, ‘Yikes.’

Yesterday marked a great start for two players the Phillies are very high on. Thompson is now the organization’s top pitching prospect with 22-year-old Aaron Nola now in the Majors. The 6-4, 235-pound right-hander is projected to be a solid number two or number three starter as long as he can refine his command. Last night’s start was a good sign in that regard.

Williams, who is currently ranked as the Phillies’ number four prospect, is an outfielder with the tools to be a solid starter in the big leagues. He can hit for both power and average, and has the legs and arm to play any of the three outfield positions, although he’s been primarily a left fielder for his professional career.

Make sure to keep an eye on both these youngsters. If they continue to play like this, their progression through the Phillies’ organization should be quick and painless.

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