If there is one position where the Dodgers are already flush with candidates, it is in the outfield grass. After the acquisition of Mookie Betts over the winter, Los Angeles native outfielders in Betts, Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, and Joc Pedersen already in the fold, but the likes of Enrique Hernandez and Chris Taylor able to move around the diamond and play all three outfield spots as well.
So why would we advocate for another outfield to join the mix?
To put it quite simply, Cody Thomas has turned heads this spring, even before games were suspended. In 22 at-bats this Spring, Thomas has been completely on fire, hitting .318/.333/1.091 on the back of five home runs, a triple, and 11 RBI. That RBI total places him in a tie for all of MLB during the shortened spring.
A 13th round pick out of the University of Oklahoma, Thomas famously put aside football when he lost a quarterback battle with Baker Mayfield and opted instead to pursue his baseball career. The decision seems to have been worth it for Thomas, as he’s shown his ability on the diamond thus far.
With that said, carrying Thomas has its downside. Adding him to the 40-man roster spot means that the Dodgers have to make a corresponding move to clear space for him and with seven other outfielders already on the 40-man (not to mention Hernandez and Taylor) Los Angeles may not wish to lose that depth. Likewise, Thomas can use the seasoning in the minors, where he struggled a bit during his first go at the upper minors, hitting .236/.308/.443 at Double-A Tulsa in 2019. He did manage 23 home runs, but also posted 144 strikeouts against just 46 walks in 532 at-bats.
However, there is some thought that carrying the hot hand may be worth the experiment, even if it is just for a short time to see what he can do. It may be unconventional, but who could have predicted what we saw already this spring?