Texas Rangers promote former McGill-Toolen baseball star Bubba Thompson

Former McGill-Toolen baseball star Bubba Thompson is headed to the major leagues.

The Texas Rangers called up Thompson on Thursday.

He is in the lineup against the Chicago White Sox tonight, playing left field and batting ninth.

“It’s pretty awesome,” said McGill-Toolen baseball coach Tim Becker. “I talked to Bubba this morning. He was in the airport, going to Arlington. His team was on the road. He just wanted to keep it simple. He was very humble, said he just wanted to do whatever he could to help the team win. That’s Bubba. I would love to have been there. It was just a little too far, but I’ll be watching.”

In 30 years of coaching, Becker said Thompson was his first former player to make it to the majors.

“It doesn’t surprise me a bit,” Becker said. “It was always in my mind that Bubba was going to make it, but it’s hard. Baseball can be very disappointing, but Bubba is very athletic and he always has fun. He’s also always trying to do something better when he’s struggling.”

Thompson, called up from AAA Round Rock, replaces Kole Calhoun, who was placed on the 10-day injury list with right heel irritation. It’s Thompson’s first major league call-up.

He was hitting .304 this year in 80 games for Round Rock with 13 homers, 48 ​​RBIs and 49 stolen bases. He has only been caught stealing three times. He has 123 stolen bases in five minor league seasons.

The Rangers selected Thompson with the 26th pick in the first round of the 2017 draft. He was the first player from Mobile or Baldwin County drafted in the first round straight out of high school.

As a high school senior, Thompson hit .429 with 11 home runs, 35 RBIs and 52 runs scored. He stole 18 bases and had a slugging percentage of .857. He was named Class 7A Player of the Year by the Alabama Sports Writers Association. He signed to play baseball at Alabama before opting to go straight to the Rangers.

The 24-year-old is having his best season by far. For his minor league career, he is hitting .270 with 45 home runs and 175 RBIs.

Ironically, his high school best friend and former McGill football and baseball teammate, Jalen Tolbert, was drafted earlier this year by the Dallas Cowboys.

“If you are going to make it to the majors, you have to be a five-tool guy,” Becker said. “Bubba has 49 stolen bases. Even if he doesn’t play every day, he can come in and play defense or steal a base. He has all five tools. He’s still working on some of them, but he’s doing outstanding. It’s very exciting.”

This post will be updated

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