The New York Yankees have seen enough of former South Carolina Gamecock Dom Thompson-Williams — enough to know that it’s time for the slugger to move up from Charleston.
Thompson-Williams, the franchise’s fifth-round pick in the 2016 draft, played just 10 games this season for the RiverDogs, New York’s low-level Single A affiliate.
Now, the outfielder will be slugging homers for the Tampa Tarpons, the Yankees’ Single A-Advanced affiliate.
Didn’t take long
The RiverDogs opened their season on April 5. Four days later, Thompson-Williams was sent to the Disabled List after just three games.
He stayed out of commission for a month before a May 9 road game. It must have taken a few games to get back into the flow, since he watched his batting average drop from .300 to .273.
But it didn’t take long.
In a May 13 contest in Hagerstown, Maryland, the former South Carolina slugger belted two homers en route to a four-hit night. That boosted his average to .357.
Maybe the Hagerstown locals yelled for an encore. If so, Thompson-Williams heard them.
In their next game, he hit two more home runs in the first game of a doubleheader.
And just to wrap up the good times in Maryland, Thompson-Williams delivered a solo home run in the night cap.
The slugger leaves Charleston with a .378 batting average and five homers in just 10 games. Before the season started, Thompson-Williams said he was glad to be back in South Carolina, adding that “it's just good to be close to home.”
Guess he’ll have to settle into his new home in Tampa. Or, he can keep hitting home runs until the Yankees have no choice but to send him to the Bronx.
Catching up with Gamecocks
Thompson-Williams isn’t the only former Gamecock putting up numbers in the minors.
Fans should remember Michael Roth, a hard throwing lefty who’s had some MLB experience. Right now, he’s with the Chicago Cubs AAA affiliate, the Iowa Cubs.
Roth, a Greenville native, has appeared in seven games this season, and holds a 3.03 ERA with 23 strikeouts. He’s played 23 games on the major league level, most recently in 2016.
At South Carolina, Roth went 26-6 from 2009 to 2012, fanning 268 batters, and posted an impressive 1.91 ERA.
A more recent name etched in Gamecock history is Gene Cone, a Columbia native who played ball last season for the Columbia Fireflies, the New York Mets’ SAL affiliate.
Cone was picked up in the 2016 draft, and is piecing together a solid year while playing left field for the Mets Single A-Advanced squad, the St. Lucie Mets.
Through 30 games, he’s batting .303 and has stolen four bases.