D-backs call up top prospect OF Alek Thomas, place C Carson Kelly on IL

May 8, 2022, 9:36 AM | Updated: 10:09 am
Reno Aces outfielder Alek Thomas (5) runs to first on a flyout during a Triple-A Minor League Baseb...
Reno Aces outfielder Alek Thomas (5) runs to first on a flyout during a Triple-A Minor League Baseball game between the Reno Aces and the Las Vegas Aviators on April 10, 2022 at the Las Vegas Ballpark in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
(Photo by Jeff Speer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks selected outfielder Alek Thomas from Triple-A Reno, their top-ranked prospect on MLB Pipeline, and placed catcher Carson Kelly on the 10-day injured list for an oblique strain on Sunday.

Thomas is the No. 18 prospect in MLB on Pipeline after earning the D-backs’ 2021 Minor League Player of the Year award.

The 22-year-old center fielder was a second-round pick in the 2018 draft and had an OPS of .857 with 13 extra base hits in 24 games this year for the Aces.

The lefty first got promoted to Triple-A in 2021, and he torched the ball with a .369/.434/.658 slash line and eight home runs in 34 games for Reno.

Thomas also brings speed in center field and on the base paths.

D-backs manager Torey Lovullo told reporters Saturday night that catcher Carson Kelly suffered a Grade 1 oblique strain.

The D-backs can move Daulton Varsho behind the plate from center field in the meantime, while bringing Thomas to the majors gives Lovullo another option in the outfield. Arizona also has Jose Herrera to backup Varsho at catcher.

Varsho started behind the plate on Saturday with Jordan Luplow in center.

Thomas will make his MLB debut Sunday against the Colorado Rockies, playing center field and batting eighth.

First pitch is at 1:10 p.m. from Chase Field. Catch the action on ESPN 620 AM or 98.7 FM HD-2.

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