Kevin Deshawn Thompson
- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 10", Weight 185 lb.
- School Grayson County College
- High School Western Hills High School (Fort Worth)
- Debut June 3, 2006
- Final Game September 30, 2007
- Born September 18, 1979 in Fort Worth, TX USA
Outfielder Kevin Thompson made his major league debut in 2006.
Thompson helped Grayson County College win the 1999 NJCAA Division I Baseball World Series. He was selected by the New York Yankees in the 31st round of the 1999 amateur draft as a draft-and-follow pick. In 2000, Kevin helped Grayson to another NJCAA Division I title. He was signed by scout Mark Batchko in June 2000 and made his pro debut that summer.
Thompson debuted as a pro with the GCL Yankees, hitting .267/.356/.467 in 20 games. In 2001, he was converted from a second baseman to an outfielder and batted .262/.360/.404 for the Staten Island Yankees. The next year, Thompson started off with the Greensboro Bats (.283/.396/.456, 14 SB in 17 tries in 62 games), was promoted to the Tampa Yankees (.184/.298/.241, 11 SB in 12 tries in 25 games) and then was dropped back to Staten Island (.302/.376/.453). His 31 stolen bases overall led the Yankees chain.
Thompson showed off his speed in 2003. He hit .331/.433/.552 for Tampa with 16 steals in 21 tries and 42 runs in 44 games, earning a promotion to the AA Trenton Thunder. With Trenton, Kevin set franchise records for steals in a game (4), a month (20 in August) and a season (47 despite playing only 86 games; he was caught stealing just 8 times with Trenton). Unfortunately, Thompson only hit .226/.310/.332 for the Thunder. His 63 steals led Yankees minor leaguers. He was two steals behind Eastern League leader Andy Machado.
After off-season elbow surgery, Thompson had a rehab stint with Tampa (.356/.420/.578, 9 SB in 11 tries in 11 games) before finishing back with Trenton (.281/.362/.444, 29 SB in 39 tries). In 2005, Kevin had an excellent campaign. He hit .329/.435/.565 in 81 games for Trenton (.355 against righties) and .249/.335/.359 in 58 outings for the Columbus Clippers, leading both teams in steals (25 for Trenton, 18 for Columbus). He led Yankee farmhands in hits (155), doubles (45), walks (76) and OBP (.394). Thompson was 0 for 2 as the leadoff man for the USA in the 2005 Futures Game.
Thompson split 2006 between Columbus (.265/.345/.428, 17 SB in 24 tries) and the majors. In 3 stints with the Yankees, he hit .300/.417/.500 in 19 games and stole 2 bases in 2 tries. He first was called up to replace the injured Gary Sheffield. Playing right field in his big league debut, he struck out against Adam Loewen in his first at-bat.
Thompson's 2007 was similar to 2006 - mostly in AAA (.281/.382/.427, 24 SB in 32 tries in 77 games for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees) will three MLB call-ups, in which he hit .190/.261/.333 in 13 games. He was waived by New York and picked up by the Oakland Athletics, batting .071/.133/.071 for them.
Let go by Oakland, he was claimed off waivers by the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 63 games for the Indianapolis Indians, he hit .282/.358/.410 with 16 steals in 19 tries. A day after surgery on a torn tendon and broken hamate in his left hand in June, Pittsburgh unconditionally released him to free a 40-man roster spot for Denny Bautista.