Baseball is Alek Thomas’ first love, but he’s a good enough athlete to play baseball or football at Texas Christian. Now, he’s got to make a choice as he was drafted No. 63 overall on Monday by the Arizona Diamondbacks in major league baseball’s June Amateur draft.
The center fielder from Mount Carmel (Chicago) grew up around the White Sox club house, as his father, Allen, is the team’s longtime strength and conditioning coach.
Thomas hit .420 with 10 homers, 58 runs scored and 43 RBI through 131 at-bats this season with only five strikeouts and 14 stolen bases. He also played football and basketball for The Caravan.
He was a three-sport start for Mount Carmel, starting at quarterback, at guard on the basketball and for the past four seasons, in center field for the Caravan’s baseball team. He thinks the aggressiveness he gets from football helps out in baseball.
He gained insights watching White Sox center fielders Adam Engel and Andruw Jones, but he’s most influenced by Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout.
“He plays the game hard all the time,” Thomas said. “He seems like an all-around good guy. Great player who seems like a great person.”
Thomas played his travel ball for the White Sox Amateur City Elite (ACE) and Kenny Fullman, the co-founder and program director of ACE, said Thomas makes adjustments well because of his baseball background.
“Alek’s baseball IQ is off the charts,” Fullman said. “He understands the game. He’s really great going in defensive counts with his at-bats. He can hit and can hit with power and hits velocity pretty well.”