Lane Thomas: Under-the-Radar Prospect?
The MiLB.com staff chose the Toronto Blue Jays Lane Thomas as one of their under-the-radar prospect in 2015. The 4th round 2014 draft pick was included on a list with New York Yankees RHP Jose A. Ramirez, Houston Astros 2B Ronald Torreyes, Detroit Tigers OF Connor Harrell, Minnesota Twins RHP J.T. Chargois and RHP Chih-Wei Hu, Oakland A’s OF Ryon Healy, LA Dodgers RHP Jacob Rhame, and Boston Red Sox SS Mauricio Dubon.
Lane Michael Thomas was born in Knoxville Tennessee on August 23rd, 1995. He stands 6 foot 1 inches and weights in at 210lbs. He was originally drafted as a centre fielder out of Bearden High School where he was named to the 2014 Perfect Game 2nd Team All-American Southeast- All Region 1st Team.
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The impressive 19-year-old started the year as a member of the Gulf Coast Blue Jays. Thomas started the year in CF but began seeing the odd game at 3rd base. Before being promoted on August 10th, Lane would play 15 games at 3rd and 16 in CF. As a member of the Bluefield Blue Jays, Lane continued to hone his skills at the hot corner with an additional 10 games.
A right-handed bat, Lane batted .316 against LHP and .266 against RHB. He only hit one home run in 2014 which came in his first game with Bluefield. Lane Thomas really seemed to turn it on during his time with Bluefield, hitting .323/.384/.431 in a small sample size (18GP).
At the plate, Thomas struck out 21.8% of the time and walked 12.0% of the time. His swing generates line drives at 18.9% rate, but produced 43.9 GB%. Lane should continue to hit for average due to impressive .367 BABIP.
In the MiLB article Robert Emrich suggests that Lane Thomas can expect yet another position change in 2015. This time he’ll be shifted to 2nd base. I’m not a fan of this, since the system needs more high-ceiling outfielders, not more 2nd baseman. Having Lane Thomas by-pass Vancouver entirely also seems unrealistic, unless management attempts to start him at an advanced level before sending him down Vancouver to get regular AB’s.
In Lansing, Thomas will need to compete with Tim Locastro and Dickie Joe Thon for regular at-bats. The Lugnuts will have an interesting infield with Richard Urena playing SS and Gunnar Heidt backing him up. So it doesn’t seem likely that Lane Thomas will get the regular at-bats to stick at 2nd.
Regardless of where he starts the season or at which position he plays, Lane Thomas is a prospect that should be watched closely in 2015.
This has nothing to do with Lane Thomas but thought it had to be done.