From Omaha, Nebraska to Miami, Florida, all the way up to Brooklyn, New York in a matter of five days, David Thompson’s life and baseball career has been nothing short of a whirlwind of endings and beginnings.
So many new doors were opening as others closed for the University of Miami fourth round 2015 draft pick that when the time came, he had no idea what awaited behind the door that led him to Brooklyn.
“I didn’t know what to expect, honestly. I just kinda got home from the College World Series, unpacked, washed my stuff, packed up again and came right out here,” Thompson said.
More dramatic of a transition than going from Florida to New York will be the adjustment from playing for the Hurricanes to now the Cyclones.
“It was pretty crazy just because it’s a quick change from college ball to pro ball, but I’m excited to be here and I can’t wait to play.”
Thompson joins the Cyclones as a heavily decorated NCAA athlete coming off of his junior season wherein he recorded one of the best individual seasons in Miami baseball history. The third baseman led national rankings with 90 RBI and led his team with 22 multi-RBI games. He was one of just three Hurricanes to start all 67 games and one of three players nationwide to earn unanimous All-American first-team honors. Thompson led his team and the ACC with 19 home runs, and ranked first on his team in slugging percentage (.640), doubles (18), and total bases (162).
Despite his laundry list of astounding successes, however, Thompson is not underestimating the competition that awaits in Brooklyn’s season this summer. The differences between the ACC and Single-A ball are not being underestimated or overlooked, as the increased level of competition and quantity of consecutive games mark severely dramatic differences between the games.
“I just gotta get used to all the better competition, all the better pitching and things like that. And also, just getting used to playing everyday. It’s a lot harder, a lot more stressful on your body, so just getting into that routine and learning how it all goes.”
Despite these differences, Thompson comes to Brooklyn armed with a healthy season of college ball behind him. It was the first full season the junior was able to play during his three years at Miami and Thompson, clearly, did not fail to rise to the occasion. Being plagued with several injuries during his athletic career, the most recent one being a blood clot that limited him during his sophomore season and cost him one of his ribs, Thompson has an enthusiastic appreciation for the game that he is fortunate enough to now play professionally.
“[I focus on] Just staying relaxed, not being tight, and having fun out there,” Thompson said. “You know, it’s tough because you fail a lot in this game, but you’ve got to find a way to relax and have fun and just enjoy your time out there.”
Thompson’s gratitude is fueled by his fervor to be in the game. He is expected to be cleared this week and will become active before the team hits the road on Monday. As he looks forward to a summer of learning from his Brooklyn coaches, Thompson is eager to put their shared expertise into action at MCU Park.
“All these coaches have been around the game for a long time so I’m excited to start learning from them. I just gotta take all the knowledge in that they give me and try and put it onto the field…I’m just excited to get playin’.”