Chicago Cubs: Pondering the starting rotation for 2022 – #4: Keegan Thompson
Keegan Thompson honestly comes in on this list as a question mark moving forward. The thought and hope is that he becomes a solid starter at least out of the back end of the rotation. So far he has yet to find any type of rhythm. Most recently, on Thursday, he surrendered three runs to the Pittsburgh Pirates after tossing only 1 2/3 innings, walking two and allowing three hits in the process.
The start prior, more of the same. Four earned in two innings of work on a pair of walks and five hits. He did manage to go four innings in his appearance before that back on August 21, but still, command and limiting contact were are an issue. The thing about Thompson is that, while we haven’t seen him reach it yet, this is an arm that definitely has legit potential.
This is a guy that went 19-10 with a 2.46 ERA over his three seasons at the collegiate level. Though college is far from the pros, he did toss 14 2/3 scoreless innings across four starts at the Triple-A level. He has a 3.17 ERA across his minor league career, spanning four seasons, pitching a total of 173 1/3 frames.
Right now, I think the best thing for Thompson is to keep him exactly where he’s at and let him figure it out. With all the potential in the world, he will only gain the experience and knowledge he needs to continue growing at the big league level. This season is lost anyway and sometimes the best way to learn to be better is by making mistakes and learning from them. A few starts under your belt can change things. Regardless, there is no question that he is a good pitcher. His ceiling is high. It is just a matter of putting it together now the same way Steele is starting to.