Cullman, Ala.–Like many boys growing up playing baseball, the dream for Keegan Thompson has always been to play in the major leagues. After four years at Auburn and missing a season because of Tommy John surgery, the right-handed pitcher is ready for his dream to become a reality after being selected in the third round by the Chicago Cubs.
“It was awesome,” Thompson said when he learned that he had been drafted in the third round by Chicago. “It was just a great feeling. I’m super excited and happy that the Cubs drafted me. It’s a great organization. I’m just excited to see what happens and go from there.
“I thought I had one more good year left here at Auburn,” he said of his redshirt junior season. “I tried to take full advantage of it. It turned out well for me. I had a great team around me and it was a really fun year.”
Missing the entire 2016 season, Thompson came back strong this year when he went 7-4 with an ERA of 2.01 for the Tigers. Finishing with 75 strikeouts and just 17 walks in 93 1/3 innings, Thompson allowed opponents a batting average of .200 for the year.
That performance put him back on the minds of major league teams with the Cubs pulling the trigger early on day two of the draft. It was a feeling that Thompson said he and his family won’t soon forget.
“It was huge,” he said. “I think when I got the call my dad was at work, but he found out shortly after and he was super excited. It was actually his birthday so it was a nice little birthday present for him. My mom was crying. It was just a neat experience.”
Keegan Thompson picked up a victory in his final Auburn game in an NCAA regional victory over Central Florida.
Still waiting to talk about a contract with the Cubs, Thompson said at the moment he is enjoying things until contract negotiations begin over the course of the next few days.
Already with his degree from Auburn, Thompson had a very successful career on the Plains. Finishing with a 19-10 record and an ERA of 2.46 in 38 career starts, he signed with John Pawlowski and played for both Sunny Golloway and Butch Thompson during his time with the Tigers.
Now with that likely done he said Auburn will always hold a special place in his heart.
“It was awesome,” he said. “It was a great experience. With academics being what it was, it was hard but it was fun. It was great. We had some coaching changes and I commend our senior class for sticking in and hanging around and putting in the time and effort, just showing them what it means to work hard and be an Auburn man.”
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