With versatile Thompson, Reds get two-way player

With versatile Thompson, Reds get two-way player

With versatile Thompson, Reds get two-way player

Scouts appear split on whether high schooler Cory Thompson is a better fit on the mound or in the infield, though it didn't keep the Mauldin, S.C., native from being selected in the First-Year Player Draft by the Reds in the fifth round.

When he toes the rubber, Thompson can reach the low 90s with his fastball. He also boasts a good curveball and changeup. His somewhat diminutive stature -- he stands 6 feet tall and weighs 185 pounds -- could bring about questions regarding his durability atop the hill.

Thompson is, however, an excellent athlete, which helps him both as a pitcher and as a shortstop. He has good hands on defense and possesses a strong arm.

Thompson will have a choice to make: He is committed to the University of South Carolina, where he could continue his career as a two-way player.

Reds senior director of amateur scouting Chris Buckley said based on conversations with each of the three high school players drafted on Friday, he feels good about the organization's chances of signing them to professional deals.

Cincinnati also drafted a two-way player, Michael Lorenzen out of Cal State Fullerton, in Compensation Round A on the first day of the Draft.

"Obviously, [Thompson] is not as far along as [Lorenzen] because he's a high school player," Buckley said. "We see him as a shortstop. We think he has the tools to play there. We do also realize he can pitch, but we like him at short."

Jeremy Warnemuende is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.