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What To Expect: Michael Thompson

Follow me on Twitter here. And follow Wingnuts closer Justin Dowdy here. Justin’s not following me on Twitter yet. But he can do so here. Just like the rest of you. Through Twitter, I’ve found out that Dowdy is a fan of Lost and the New York Jets. But aren’t we all? I’m picking the Jets to win the Super Bowl, JD.

I’m headed out to Wingnuts media day in a few minutes, but I wanted to wrap up this day of extreme blogging by giving a preview and projections/predictions of what will happen with Wingnuts third baseman Michael Thompson this season.

Thompson and Steve Pearson are the only two Wingnuts to be with the team since Opening Day of the 2008 season, the team’s inaugural year. I can never keep their names straight, either. I never know if Pearson wants to go by Steve or Stephen or if Thompson is Mike or Michael. It seems to always change.

Thompson says he reads the blog frequently, so Mike, I’m going to give you some unsolicited advice: You’re a good player. A heck of a defensive third baseman and though you’re a streaky hitter, we’ve seen what you can do when you’re playing to your potential.

My advice is this — just PLAY. This season, don’t worry about styling your hair in a faux-hawk or growing a goatee or wearing your socks high or putting your socks on in reverse order or whatever else it is you do to break out of slumps. You’re too good for that. You don’t need to be in your own head all the time. It just psychs you out. I’ve seen it happen for two years.

I appreciate that you want to have fun playing baseball. I’m sure you’re at your best when the game is fun. So have fun, but don’t worry about all the other stuff. Come to the ballpark, be personable with your teammates, have fun, mash, and then be a good quote for me after the game. Do that and you won’t have any problems. No worries at all.

In 2008, you hit 10 home runs with an average above .300. Last season, you dipped to seven homers while batting .268. I think you’re still the 2008 version of you. You don’t strike out a lot, and though you’re still susceptible to off-speed pitches away and off the plate, you’ve adjusted and are laying off that pitch more frequently. You have lots of power, hitting 44 homers in the last three seasons and 32 doubles with the Wingnuts in 2009.

You’re one of my favorite guys to talk to, Mike. I’d like to see you succeed. You’re a professional baseball player and I’m not. You know you better than I do. I’m just telling you what I think. Play the game, leave out the nonsense, and you’ll be fine. Just fine. And maybe even better than fine. Good luck.

Season projection: 383 at-bats, 106 hits, .277 average, 30 doubles, 0 triples, 11 home runs, .441 slugging percentage, 31 walks, 4 HBP, .337 on-base percentage, 42 strikeouts, 43 runs.