Make no mistake about it, #2 Prospect Alek Thomas is showing the Arizona Diamondbacks He's Legit
Yes, it's only been roughly 2 weeks since Alek Thomas got the call that changed his life. He's only played in 13 games in the MLB since May 8th when he reached the MLB for the first time in his career. It's been well-known that Alek Thomas has star potential while playing anywhere in the OF. The 5'11 22-year-old has represented the Diamondbacks twice in the Future's All-Star Game, and it's not hard to imagineAlek Thomas making quite a few All-Star games repping the Diamondbacks in the future.
FanGraphs gives Thomas a potential of 55 in hit, 55 in power, 55 in raw power, 60 in speed, and 60 in fielding ability with the ranges going from 40-80. Those are excellent numbers that can rise as Alek gets older and grows in his skill, age, and muscles. I ultimately see Alek moving to LF once Corbin "Barrels" Carroll arrives, but for now Alek is performing excellently in CF. Amazingly, in only 13 games, Alek has recorded 0.6 WAR which is just INSANE. That's despite the fact that he is walking at a horrible 2.6% rate while striking out at an above average 20.5%. That strikeout rate will absolutely play in today's strikeout-happy MLB. However, that walk rate will need to improve considerably as Alek continues to get used to MLB pitching.
The big plus is seen in Alek's Statcast numbers so far. He's got a terrific 43.3% Hard Hit rate with an expected batting average of a high .294 and a high expected slugging percentage of .524. Defenses can't shift against him either as although he's hitting 40% of his balls to RF, he's going opposite field with 33.3% of his hits, as has 2 of his 3 HRs so far.
Although he's only walked 1 time in his 39 plate appearances, he's not swinging and missing at pitches much. That swinging-strike rate is a very low 12.5%. This tells me that Alek has an advanced approach at the plate and only swings at the pitches he wants to. He isn't being fooled by breaking balls or swinging at pitches he doesn't have a chance at often. This is rare for a player so young. This is proven by the fact that he makes contact on 84.4% of pitches inside the strike zone.
If you only want his more normal stats, his weighted runs created+ (wRC+ where 100 is MLB average) is a great 149. His OPS is .992 while he's slugging .643. He's hitting .333 with 7 runs scored, 12 hits, 4 doubles, 3 HR, and 5 RBI. That means that 7 of his 14 hits have gone for extra bases. Nice.
I for one am beyond excited that Alek Thomas has debuted with the Arizona Diamondbacks already. I know that he will eventually find some rookie struggles as they all do, but I'm more than confident he will be able to adjust and overcome them. I don't see the Diamondbacks optioning him to the minors unless something drastic happens.
The Alek Thomas Era of Dbacks baseball has officially begun. Check him out on Twitter.