Tristan Pompey, Leading the Next Wave of Miami Marlins

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 14: A detailed view of Marlins Park during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on April 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - APRIL 14: A detailed view of Marlins Park during the game between the Miami Marlins and the Pittsburgh Pirates at Marlins Park on April 14, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Throughout the 2018/2019 offseason, Marlin Maniac will devote one article each for every player who appeared in the Miami Marlins system for the 2018 season. Every. Single. Player. This is Part 76 of 286. Stay tuned.

Tristan Gabriel Pompey is a 6’4″, 195 lb. switch-hitting outfielder from New Westminster, British Columbia. New Westminster was also the origin of former major leaguers Gordie Pladson, Aaron Myette, and Justin Morneau. Born on March 23rd, 1997, Pompey was selected by the Minnesota Twins in the 31st round of the 2015 Amateur Entry Draft, but he didn’t sign with Minnesota.

Pompey instead decided to matriculate to the University of Kentucky, and played three seasons of Division I baseball. The decision would pan out for him, after slashing .321/.426/.521 in 165 games, with 24 homers and 113 RBI. He was named to the Southeastern Conference All-Conference Team in 2017, and was also a Third Team All-American that year. The Miami Marlins picked him in the third round of the 2018 draft, 89th off the board. He signed for a $645,000 bonus, very slightly over his projected slot value. You can follow Pompey on Twitter @lavsav_.

As the 89th pick, Pompey joined a fraternity that has placed 31 percent of selectees in the major leagues, or 17-of-54. The group is led by Hall-of-Famer Randy Johnson (1982, Atlanta Braves, 101.1 career WAR), the aforementioned Morneau (1999, Minnesota Twins, 27.2 WAR), and Chris Young (2000, Pittsburgh Pirates, 17.3 WAR). According to the MLB Pipeline:

"Though Pompey has solid-to-plus speed, he’s not always that fast out of the batter’s box and is still learning to get the most out of his quickness on the bases and in the outfield. He played mostly right field in his first two years at Kentucky before seeing more action in left field this spring, and he needs to improve his reads and routes. His arm is fringy at best, making him better suited for left field than right."

Pompey was assigned to the GCL Marlins to start July, in the rookie-level Florida-based Gulf Coast League. After four games, and time in center and right field, Pompey had gone three-for-12 with three walks. Whatever the Miami Marlins were looking for, they found it, and promoted Pompey to the single-A Greensboro Grasshoppers on July 7th.

For the Grasshoppers, Miami’s South Atlantic League affiliate at the time, Pompey appeared in 24 games, and hit 27-for-86, with a .314/.422/.430 slashline. He drew 16 walks and scored 12 runs hitting four doubles, two homers, and collecting nine RBI. He also stole five bases in eight tries, and struck out 22 times in 103 plate appearances. From July 23rd through July 30th, he went 14-for-26 with six walks and five RBI, scoring seven runs. He had eight multi-hit games in his short look at that level.

On August 7th, Pompey was promoted for the second time in his five-week minor league career, to the high-A Jupiter Hammerheads in the Florida State League. Again, he played in 24 games, collecting seven multi-hit performances. He carved out a .291/.396/.384 line over 101 plate appearances, with 13 runs scored, five doubles, a homer, 13 RBI, and four-of-five stolen bases. He also drew 13 walks and struck out 21 times.

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Over his short minor-league career thus far, Pompey has played at least 56 2/3 innings at each of the three outfield positions. Over 338 1/3 combined innings, he’s racked up a .967 fielding percentage in 61 chances, with two errors and two outfield assists.

The new ownership group led by Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter haven’t been shy about letting minor league coordinator Gary Denbo and GM Michael Hill make liberal use of minor league movement. Currently Miami’s 16th-ranked prospect, Pompey’s movement thus far has him primed to get to the Miami Marlins quicker than anyone had previously imagined. Expect him to start the 2019 campaign either back with the Hammerheads or with the double-A Southern League Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp. A 2019 callup to the majors is not really out of the question, but it’s likelier that he gets to the Marlins sometime in 2020.

Next. Jeff Kinley, the Next Wave. dark

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