If you read my article about the AFL, you should already understand how high I am on the right-fielder. A product of Oklahoma University, Thomas is tall (6’4”), projectable, and has an immense amount of raw-power and especially for an outfielder who’s capable of playing centerfield.
The Dodgers took him in the 13th rd. of the 2016 draft and he looks like a mix between Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson. Equally athletic and powerful as the two, Thomas is also a lefty-hitter with an arm suited for right field.
He hit .285 with a .852 OPS, 19 HR’s, 7 triples,, and 82 runs, during the regular season.
Although Thomas’s game two heroics didn’t come in the 9th or extras, his presence was made in grand style regardless. Rancho had been down 0-1 until the top of the fifth.
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Thanks to a walk drawn by Nick Yarnall, and two fielding errors courtesy of the Rawhide, Thomas came to the plate with the bases juiced.
Upon watching the last three hitters in the order get on base, the opportunity presented to the Quakes and Thomas was quite apparent.
Before Visalia could get out of the self-made jam that they found themselves in, Cody Thomas turned on and belted a grand slam into the left field stands, scoring all four runs with one sweet swing of the bat.
Thomas’s ability to capitalize on the Rawhide’s mistakes put the Quakes up 4-1 and single-handedly swung all of the game’s momentum into the Quakes’ dugout.
The next two innings Rancho scored another five runs. Visalia would attempt a comeback in the ninth but would eventually fall short. Rancho won game two by the score of 9-3.
They quickly won the series and the Cal League Championship in the next game and in a similar fashion, ending the sweep with a Game 3 score of 9-1. Visalia didn’t know what hit them.
I’m not the type to say; “I told you so,” and therefore I won’t. Ruiz, Walker, and Thomas all played vital roles for their teams throughout both league championships and they did so in definitive, professional, and prompt manners.
Congrats to them and the Dodgers organization on acquiring three legitimate talents who come up big in the clutch. Go Dodgers!