2018 MLB Draft Profile: CF Alek Thomas, Mount Carmel HS (Ill.)

Alek Thomas

Our final MLB Draft profile is on an athletic high school center fielder from Chicago in Alek Thomas.

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Previous profiles:

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Vitals
5’11, 175 pounds
Position: Outfield
Bats: Left
Throws: Left
DOB: April 28, 2000

Location
Chicago, Ill.
Commitment: TCU

Rankings
2080 Baseball
: 32
Baseball America: 57
ESPN: 27
FanGraphs: 35
MLB.com: 41
Perfect Game: N/A
Scouting Baseball: 25

Slot recommended bonus (No. 30): $2,275,800

Note: All information of draft prospects compiled from Internet sources, scouting reports and video.

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Thomas is not only one of the youngest players in the draft class, but he’s one of the most athletic. He’s a 3-sport star at Mount Carmel High School and uses his athleticism well on the diamond.

He uses a compact swing from the left side to produce a level swing and surprising bat speed, despite lacking top-end strength. He has a lot of moving parts in his swing, including a load that sees him put a lot of weight on his back leg while also moving his hands around. But because of his quick hands and strong wrists, he’s able to make up for the extra movement with above-average bat speed. He has a big leg kick, which is why some think there’s still some power to come. He might struggle against velocity in the pros if everything isn’t in sync, and odds are a team would look to maybe tone things down a bit. But he has some loft to his swing and you could see him developing average power, but right now, he profiles to be more of a 12-15 home run guy in the pros. He should be a guy who hits line drives all over the field, but most of his power is to the pull side — and that’s OK.

On defense, there’s little doubt he’ll stick in center field. He has good instincts and plenty of speed to run down balls out there. His arm is below-average, so the only other option for him on defense is left field. If he has to move there, his value takes a significant hit. But everything else he does out there is good, so that shouldn’t be much of an issue. He can run, but he’ll need to learn the nuances of stealing bases if he’s to be successful in that arena in the pros.

Video

Videos courtesy of rkyosh007, Prospect Pipeline and 2080 Baseball.

The most commons comps you see put on Thomas are Andrew Benintendi and Jacoby Ellsbury (sans 2011). Adam Eaton also makes some sense as a comp here. If you want one more, maybe Jeren Kendall with a little less speed and defensive ability (but maybe a better hit tool and definitely a better swing). There are worse players to be comped to, especially as a late-first round pick. If he could carve out that kind of career at the plate and stick in center field, you’re looking at a pretty solid ball player.

He’s committed to TCU, but I don’t think he’d say no to a couple million bucks to forego that. He is also expected to play football for the Horned Frogs, so maybe it takes the full slot amount to get him to sign. He’d be a nice get and a nice project for the player development team.

About Dustin Nosler

Dustin Nosler
Dustin Nosler began writing about the Dodgers in July 2009 at his blog, Feelin' Kinda Blue. He co-hosts a weekly podcast with Jared Massey called Dugout Blues. He is a contributor/editor at The Hardball Times. He graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with his bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in digital media. While at CSUS, he worked for the student-run newspaper The State Hornet for three years, culminating with a 1-year term as editor-in-chief. He resides in Stockton, Calif.