Height/Weight: 5’11, 175 lbs
Team/Level/League: Arizona Diamondbacks Instructs/Mt Carmel H.S.
Dates Seen: 3/28, 3/29, 5/1, 5/2, 5/5, 5/7, 10/8, 10/12
Body/Athleticism/Makeup: On the shorter side. Good athlete. Flexible, fluid movements: small but not weak. Compact, functionally strong. Three sport HS athlete – Baseball, Football, Basketball. Father does strength and conditioning for the White Sox -> likely emphasis on functional strength. Body language had a “down to business” vibe to it.
Stance/Hitting Mechanics: Upright base stance with no bend in knees. Hands start near neck and bat pointed vertically. Preslot hand movement. Short load. Moderate leg kick, with front knee bending back for torque at hips. Hands slot mid-approach. Elbow raises before foot strike, creating length but also power. Hips fire as bat passes through hitting zone. Lower body well-incorporated.
Hit: 30/60 – Good feel for the zone, did not expand much in my looks. Patient but aggressive, Dan Harrington (poker) style approach. Goes to plate with seeming plan of attack. All fields approach but more authoritative contact to opposite way, specifically to L/CF gap. At times, tried to pull outside pitches and rolled over for weak GBs. Able to keep hands back and would shoot soft stuff other way. Love use of all fields and feel for the zone.
Game Power: 30/40 – The raise of his elbow before foot strike creates an uppercut path which should be conducive to extra base hits. Currently, a gap power guy. Can see Thomas adding 10-15 lbs of good weight, and some present doubles will translate to future homers.
Raw Power: 30/40 - There is not much raw power at present, but Thomas converts most of his raw power to game through excellent use of lower half and pitch selection. Added weight will also help.
Speed: 55/55 - Max effort 4.14 from the left. Decent first step. More quick than fast, reaches top speed after a couple steps. Speed plays on both sides of the ball. Aggressive, situationally-aware base runner. Will not be a huge base stealer, but has potential to steal 20 bags a year more from guile than raw speed.
Defense: 55/65 – Good reads off the bat and quickness maximize his coverage radius in CF. Reads allow for direct path to the ball. Will circle around strategically to position self for throws. Would be ok in majors now. Grade projection due to inevitable adjustment to speed of the game. Reminded of Albert Almora in a sense, does not have elite speed but reads and quickness make up for it.
Arm: 40/40 - Below average arm with more accuracy than strength. Good enough for CF considering potentially plus defense. Below average carry on throws.
Overall: 60 OFP largely dependent on utility of his hit tool. However, his use of all fields and overall approach inspire optimism that he can reach a 60 hit ceiling. I think he can hit .280 with 10-15 homers, 15-20 steals and a lot of doubles. Triple slash .280/.350/.465 in the realm of possibility.
Risk: Moderate – Case can be made all HS draftees are high risk. Thomas has no exposure above rookie level so there is big hit tool variance, but the defense is a pretty safe bet to play in the majors and can buoy the profile if the hit tool settles at below average. Hard to see him being less than a fourth OF.