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Thompson preparing for Big Ten baseball at Michigan State in the outfield

Athlete of the Week loves his new position in the outfield
Published: Jul. 5, 2021 at 11:38 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -You don’t see many 6′7 corner outfielders in baseball. “Yeah Ganin’s a big boy! He’s a BIG boy!” Sioux Falls Sunfish Head Coach Walker Bullington Says.

“Coming here coach, the first day I got here, really asked if I was an outfielder because they had me listed as pitcher first before outfield!” Sioux Falls Sunfish Outfielder Ganin Thompson says.

That’s what Ganin Thompson was for many of his years at Washington High School. That changed, though, during his first year of college at Michigan State.

“My bat really took off and the pitching kind of fell off compared to the rest of the competition up there. I had just played outfield the last two seasons for my travel ball team, got comfortable out there and really just stuck with it and didn’t really even want to coming back into the infield. It just feels so much better out in the green!” Thompson says.

A position switch isn’t the only difference in Ganin after red shirting in East Lansing. “Got to put on some weight. Got to put on some strength. Overall that entire season was probably the best that, as a developmental stage, that I’ve ever had.” Thompson says.

With the opportunity to continue his progress, and play again during the summer season, Ganin decided to do it back home in Sioux Falls with the Sunfish of the wood bat Expedition League. “It’s been more fun really being in front of them (family) and actually being able to play a game for the first time in about a year. It’s really just been a blast. It’s been a while since they’ve all seen me in a uniform and being with the Sunfish and being at home it’s just been about as good as it gets really.” Ganin says.

And Thompson has bounced back after some early struggles, currently hitting .288 with two home runs and 16 RBI’s. “There was some swing and miss early in the summer but he’s absolutely punished a couple baseballs here lately. The biggest thing for him is just reps and consistency. I think, you know, give him a couple of years at Michigan State and he’s going to have a real shot.” Bullington says.

“Hopefully lowering my strikeout percentage and just being able to drive the ball to all parts of the field is really what I’m going to try to achieve here this summer and take back to school.” Thompson says.

If that happens we might have to get used to the sight of Ganin succeeding in the Big Ten.

Zach Borg, Dakota News Now Sports.

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