The Cincinnati Reds have claimed outfielder Bubba Thompson on waivers from the Kansas City Royals, it was announced today. Yes, it doesn’t directly involve the Texas Rangers and it isn’t a World Series related item, but I’m sharing this info anyway.
Thompson, as I’m sure y’all recall, was the Rangers’ first round pick in 2017. He had what appeared to be a breakout year in 2022, slashing .304/.355/.474 in 375 plate appearances for Round Rock. That earned him a promotion to the majors, where he slashed .265/.302/.312 in 181 major league plate appearances.
Thompson’s speed and defense seemed to make him well-suited to a bench role in the majors, and with the rule changes for 2023 which made it easier to steal bases, it seemed like Thompson could be a late inning weapon off the bench for Texas. He made the team out of spring training as a reserve outfielder but didn’t play much, and ended up being sent down in late May. He briefly return to the majors after the All Star Break, making just one appearance, as a pinch runner, before being sent back down.
Thompson slashed just .170/.237/.283 in 60 major league plate appearances for Texas, and .260/.362/.378 for Round Rock. He was designated for assignment in mid-August to make room for J.P. Martinez on the 40 man roster, and was claimed by the Royals.
Bubba didn’t fare much better in AAA after the change in organizations — he slashed .259/.313/.410 for Omaha, the Royals’ affiliate. The Royals designated him for assignment earlier this week and placed him on waivers, resulting in him being claimed by Cincinnati.
There’s a good chance Thompson ends up back on the waiver wire before the offseason is over, but if not, he has options remaining, and so Cincinnati will have a chance to send him to AAA again and see if he gets his groove back.