Bubba Thompson impresses Rangers early

ARLINGTON – When Triple-A Round Rock’s Bubba Thompson was called up on Thursday, Rangers manager Chris Woodward was hoping for a spark.
Thompson, the club’s 27th overall for every MLB pipeline, is known for many things, but having him at every club he advances is something that has distinguished Woodward the most.
“Any team he’s played with, anyone I’ve talked to has said he’s his favorite teammate,” Woodward said. “[Triple-A Round Rock manager Matt] Hagen was very specific in saying that he is universally admired by his teammates.”
Among those other qualities is his speed, arrogance and defense. Thompson was in the Majors for about two days, but he’s already shown a little bit of everything. He brought a jolt to the club on day one, and even in the Rangers’ 2-1 loss to the White Sox on Friday at Globe Life Field, Thompson impressed both at the bases and on the field.
“Man. We knew about him,” White Sox manager Tony La Russa said. “And he seems to be more than just a quick guy. [left] area. They got something special.”
Thompson first made heads turn when he scored his first career hits. He made it to base in a singles game, sprinting from home to pole position in 3.62 seconds, a feat only three other players have surpassed this season: Roman Quinn (3.58), Andres Jimenez (3.59, 3.61) and Jose Altove (3.61).
“Every time I put my shoes on, I plan to show everything I can do. I work on them every day, and I try to show them every day in the field,” Thompson said after his debut on Thursday.
One of the things he showed on Friday that fans didn’t see on his debut was his aggressiveness on the basepath. Thompson stole two bases in a loss, becoming the first Rangers rookie to score two or more base steals during his first two Majors career games.
Coming into the major leagues, Thompson stole 49 Pacific Coast League-leading bases in 80 games for Triple-A Round Rock.
“It was nice to get my feet wet, get on the bases and show I can steal too,” Thompson said. “It was great being there, stealing some bags and knowing I can steal at the highest level.”
Defensively, Thompson helped contribute to a solid, but ultimately unlucky performance by starting bowler Glenn Otto with a noteworthy slip catch on left field.
“That was great,” said Otto. “It’s fun to watch.”
“We can’t sleep on Bubba,” Rangers third base coach Tony Beasley said it’s best to go back to spring training when he talked about the fast starter.
It’s safe to say that Thompson knows no one is sleeping on him now that they’ve seen what he can do. All that remains now is to build on it.
“Now I have to drive something into the gap,” Thompson said.

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