Name: Alek Thomas
DOB: 4/28/2000 (Age 18)
Acquired: 2nd Round, 2018 MLB Draft
Position: Center Fielder
Most Notable Tool: Hit
Season Stats: 56 G, 271 PA, .333/.395/.463, 14 2B, 6 3B, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 50 R, 12/17 SB between Rookies AZL Dbacks and Missoula Osprey
2018 Season Summary: The Dbacks signed Thomas for slightly above the bonus amount for the 63rd pick in the draft, and he instantly left a strong impression. Between an equal amount of plate appearances between the AZL Dbacks and Missoula Osprey, he put up similar wRC+ totals of 136 and 129 between the two levels. Due to his dad’s position with the Chicago White Sox and getting to spend time around MLB players, I’m not surprised Thomas has shown advanced hitting abilities for an 18 year old. Thomas has shown a high BABIP skill, although we can expect the number to drop from .382 and .390 moving forward.
Tools: Hit 45/60, Power 40/55, Speed 60, Defense 45/60
Thomas’ hit tool is much more advanced than your typical 18-year-old prospect, which is not surprised since he probably picked up tips from the players that have been with the White Sox over the years. Thomas is more of a ground ball and line drive hitter right now, although with his speed a ground ball profile isn’t the worst thing in the world. I believe as he fills out his frame there will be more projectable power, especially in regards to over the fence power. Defensively he has the speed and athletic ability to be a quality center fielder, with the only reason he doesn’t end up there is if he pushed off there by another great center fielder prospect.
Upside: Thomas has All Star upside due to his potential to impact the game in almost every way, shape, and form. As I mentioned before he probably does need to bulk up another 15-20 pounds before reaching the majors, where I think we’ll see more XBH power. With the potential combination of a high BABIP skill, the ability to draw walks, excellent speed, and above-average XBH power, it’s an exciting offensive profile to dream about. The kind where we see a .300/.375/.470 slash with excellent center field defense and 30+ SB potential.
Risk: For an 18-year-old prospect, there should be a lot of risk potential. I don’t get that vibe from Thomas, mostly because he’s been around an MLB clubhouse and MLB players growing up. There’s no major flaw in his tool set that has me worried, so the only risk I see at this point is injuries.
Likely 2019 Assignment: Of the top three high school talents, the most likely to see full season ball their first full year in the system is Thomas. I’m going to be conservative and say that Thomas opens the season in Extended Spring Training for the first month at least before the team decides to send him to Kane County (not too far from Chicago) or Hillsboro. For the sake of projection, I’ll say Hillsboro.
ETA: 2022 Season