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Cardinals Select Lefty Pitcher Zack Thompson With No. 1 Selection in 2019 Amateur Draft

Selma, Ind. Native Was Sec All-conference Selection at Univ. Kentucky
June 3, 2019

The St. Louis Cardinals selected left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson, a junior from the University of Kentucky, with their first round selection (19th player overall) in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.

The St. Louis Cardinals selected left-handed pitcher Zack Thompson, a junior from the University of Kentucky, with their first round selection (19th player overall) in Major League Baseball’s amateur draft.

The 6-2, 220-pound Thompson, who hails from Selma, Ind. (Wapahani High School), was the 5th pitcher selected in this year’s draft and the second lefty to go in the opening round.

“We always enter the draft trying to find someone we feel will have an impact on our Major League team with our first selection,” stated Cardinals’ President of Baseball Operations John Mozeliak. “Zack was someone we identified who could do just that. We look forward to having him join the St. Louis Cardinals organization.”

Thompson, 21, was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA for the Wildcats this season and struck out a whopping 130 batters in his 90.0 innings pitched, using a four-pitch mix of fastball, slider, change-up and curve. He was 16-5 with a 3.20 ERA in three seasons at Kentucky, striking out 268 batters in 196.2 innings.

“We couldn’t be more thrilled to make the pick,” said Cardinals’ Assistant General Manager/Director of Scouting Randy Flores. Zack Thompson is one of those guys when you watch him live, you come away really impressed with his physicality, you come away impressed with his ability to spin the ball, and you truly come away impressed with his guts and grit on the mound. He’s someone who has improved every year, checks a lot of boxes for us, and we are really happy he was staring at us at (pick) 19.”

Thompson is a Second Team All-SEC selection, Second Team Collegiate Baseball All-American, Golden Spikes Award Semifinalist and Dick Howser Trophy Semifinalist.

Thompson was the fifth 19th round selection for the Cardinals in the past decade, joining Shelby Miller (2009), Michael Wacha (2012), lefty Marco Gonzales (2013) and infielder Nolan Gorman (2018).