Born in Mauldin, South Carolina Leonard “Bo” Thompson, 22, was taken by the New York Yankees in the 13th round of the 2014 First-Year-Pleayer Draft. Standing at 5’10” 255 pounds, Thompson decided to forgo his senior season and enter join the Yankees organization.
As a junior at Citadel he hit .315 with nine home runs with 42 runs batten in. Among his stats he also performed in the 2013 TD Ameritrade College Home Run Derby in Omaha.
After signing Bo went on to make his professional debut on June 15, 2014 with the Staten Island Yankees but would later be sent to the Gulf Coast League Yankees to get playing time. It was not until July 9, 2014 that he would hit his first pro home run with the GCL Yankees 2. But with all the positivity, there comes negativity and on August 25, 2014, Thompson was suspended 50 games by major league baseball for violating the drug policy.
What is the hardest thing to adjust to from college to pro ball?
“The hardest thing I’ve encountered from adjusting from college to pro ball is the continuous grind of the season, the most games in college that you normally would play in a week was 3 and now in pro ball its everyday with just a few days off. It was tough learning to bring the mentality of coming to the ballpark everyday to get better and also win.”
What have you worked on this offseason?
“This offseason I’ve worked on my defense, core strength, flexibility and hitting. Long time friend and Coach, Jeff Young has worked with me almost everyday this offseason helping me better my skills and implementing offseason workouts into the game of baseball.”
If you play for the Pulaski Yankees you will be playing for Tony Franklin, what are your initial thoughts on that?
“Initial thoughts on the possibility of playing for long time Yankee Tony Franklin would be great, I know Tony is very respected around The Yankee Organization. I know with his experience playing and coaching the game of baseball he can help in the molding process of bettering myself as a professional baseball player.”
Do you have a pre-game ritual that you do?
“I don’t really have a pre-game ritual, I normally just try to relax maybe joke around at times nothing to bad but I try to be as relaxed as possible before a game.”
What is your biggest goal playing baseball other than making it to the majors?
“My biggest goal while playing professional other than making it to the majors, is having fun everyday while playing the game of baseball and remembering that I have the best job there is.”
Playing pro ball you see a lot, time flies, do you wish it would slow down at all?
“Time does fly while playing baseball, I say because when you’re having fun time flies. I really just try to take it in day by day because it’s still so surreal that I’m a professional baseball player.”
Speaking of seeing a lot, what is the best town/city you have visited so far, that can go back to college days?
“Best city that I have visited while playing baseball would have to be while playing in Staten Island on days off jumping on the Staten Island Ferry and visiting Manhattan. It was a first time for me seeing the big city.”
You participated in the home run derby in college, how was the experience?
“Hitting in the College Home run Derby besides getting drafted by The Yankees was one of the best experiences and accolades I’ve ever achieved while playing baseball. Just being considered as one of the top power hitters in college baseball was a great honor and experience.”
You were suspended for violating drug policy, do you regret it?
“Getting suspended was a terrible thing to go through, I defiantly regret it. It was a mishap in getting the correct forms of the drug to the MLB and MiLB, totally a mistake that I’ll own up for and start looking forward to getting back onto the field wearing the Pinstripes.”