The Rangers decided after Thompson’s first spring training and one extra month at extended spring to send him to Low-A Hickory at age 19, skipping the Short-Season-A level. It was a testament to the perhaps surprising polish and feel for the game that the two-sport high school star showed after signing in 2017 for $2.1 million. The acclimation to full-season pitching was a challenge at first, as Thompson hit .240/.307/.408 over his first six weeks, but the right-handed hitter proceeded to hit .319/.367/.469 with 25 stolen bases over the final two and a half months of the Crawdads’ season (and hit a majestic home run to give the Rangers a doubleheader sweep in the Petco Park series). An elite athlete with a plus-plus run tool who had Division I offers to play quarterback, Thompson has demonstrated a high baseball IQ along with an ability to adjust that give Texas confidence that while his ceiling remains high, early projections on his floor may have been underestimated. Now 20, the Alabama product is likely targeted for an assignment to High-A Down East, where he’ll look to build on a very good 2018.