06/13/12 9:04 PM ET
Tigers top pick Thompson among 15 to sign
Texas high school righty won state title, named Player of Year
By Rowan Kavner / MLB.com
Thompson was the team's top pick this year, in the second round, as an 18-year-old right-hander out of Rockwall-Heath High in Texas. Schotts, a high school center fielder also out of Texas (Centennial High), was the the team's second pick, in the third round.
Thompson played on the state championship team, was named the Player of the Year, graduated from high school and signed as the Tigers' top pick in a matter of a couple of weeks. He bypassed his Texas Christian University scholarship to sign with the Tigers early.
"High school graduation is a huge moment in a kid's life," said Thompson's father, Keith. "You can imagine how big getting drafted by the Major Leagues is when it overshadows your high school graduation. Nobody wanted to talk about his graduation, they wanted to talk about the Tigers."
Jake Thompson told MLB.com on Monday as the deal neared completion that his decision to sign was pretty easy as the Tigers' top pick.
His father said it's been difficult to put into words what the last few weeks have been like.
"It's unreal," Keith Thompson said. "My vocabulary is too limited to even describe how happy we are."
Thompson's high school baseball coach, Greg Harvey, echoed those sentiments.
"He's been on the varsity for three years. He's been a frontline player for us," Harvey said. "He's an unbelievable competitor and goes out and plays his best games when everything is line. When the heat gets turned up, he gets better. That's a trademark of his.
"It's been an unbelievable couple years he's had here. For us to top it off by winning the state championship and having him be drafted all in the same week, it's absolutely amazing. I'm so happy for our school and for our team and his family."
Among the 15 players the Tigers announced had been inked Wednesday were two more players from the top 10 rounds: fifth-rounder choice Joe Rogers, a 21-year-old left-hander from the University of Central Florida; and 10th-rounder Charlie Gillies, a 21-year-old right-hander from The Masters College in California. The Masters College doesn't participate in the NCAA, but in the NAIA.
Other signed players (Round, Name, Position, School):
11, Bennett Pickar, C, Oral Roberts University (Okla.)
12, Julio Felix, RHP, Pima Community College (Ariz.)
15, Jordan Dean, SS, Central Michigan University
17, Slade Smith, RHP, Auburn University (Ala.)
21, Alex Phillips, LHP, University of Kentucky
24, Nick Carmichael, RHP, Palomar College (Calif.)
25, Jared Reaves, SS, University of Alabama
28, Josh Carr, RHP, Kennesaw State University (Ga.)
29, Zach Kirksey, OF, University of Mississippi
34, Matt Davenport, RHP, College of William & Mary (Va.)
40, Ryan Longstreth, LHP, Central Michigan University
The deadline to sign 2012 Draft picks is 5 p.m. ET on July 13.
Rowan Kavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.