D-backs name OF Thomas, P Nelson as minor leaguer’s of the year

Oct 2, 2021, 12:00 PM
Outfielder Alek Thomas #5 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles runs to third base during the first game of a...
Outfielder Alek Thomas #5 of the Amarillo Sod Poodles runs to third base during the first game of a double-header against the San Antonio Missions at HODGETOWN Stadium on August 1, 2021 in Amarillo, Texas. (Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)
(Photo by John E. Moore III/Getty Images)

Ahead of finishing the 2021 regular season this weekend, the Arizona Diamondbacks named outfielder Alek Thomas and pitcher Ryne Nelson as the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year on Friday.

Thomas, the No. 63 overall pick in the 2018 MLB Entry Draft, has had a stellar season at both Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno.

The 21-year-old is hitting .313 for the year that includes 18 home runs, 29 doubles and 12 triples while driving in 59 RBI and stealing 13 bases. In 34 games at Reno, Thomas has a .369 average.

Not a bad year at the plate for Thomas with two games to spare in the Minor League season. He currently leads the D-backs organization in hits, triples, extra-base hits and total bases, racking up 243 throughout the year. He’s crossed the plate more than anyone in the organization as well, scoring 86 runs in 2021.

The outfielder was named to the first team of the MLB Pipeline’s 2021 Prospect team of the Year and was selected to his second MLB All-Star Futures Game this year, after also being a selection in 2019.

Thomas is currently the No. 40 overall prospect in baseball and the D-backs No. 3 prospect, according to

As for Nelson, the No. 56 overall pick in 2019 has pitched with High-A Hillsborough and Double-A Amarillo. In 22 starts, the righty has a 7-4 record  to go with a 3.17 ERA.

In 116.1 inning pitched, the 23-year-old has given up 41 earned runs. However, Nelson has shown he has the ability to put away hitters, having 163 strikeouts for the year.

That number leads the D-backs organization and is tied for fourth most in the Minor League. He averaged 12.6 strikeouts per nine innings, and stuck out 10-plus batters in three outings this season.

Nelson is ranked as the D-backs No.5 overall prospect.

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