D-backs GM Mike Hazen: ‘You’re watching Alek Thomas’ floor’
Jun 16, 2022, 7:37 PM | Updated: 7:38 pm
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Alek Thomas has hit the ground running in his rookie season.
The 22-year-old is slashing .269/.333/.445 with six doubles and five home runs in 119 at-bats in his first 35 games in a big-league uniform. Thomas has also driven in 14 runs, walked 10 times, scored 20 runs and stolen three bases.
“I think you’re watching this floor. Maybe that’s me being the optimist in what I want to see happen, but I do believe you’re seeing his floor,” D-backs general manager Mike Hazen told Arizona Sports’ Wolf & Luke on Wednesday.
“I think the athleticism, coming up in his first however many at-bats he has and certainly not being overwhelmed, I feel like those are good signs from a mental standpoint of a guy who is able and ready to play at this level.”
In addition to being tied with Ketel Marte for the highest batting average on the team — albeit in 132 plate appearances — Thomas also leads the D-backs in OPS (.779).
But it’s not just the way that the rookie performs at the plate, as Thomas has two assists this season to go along with some athletic, run-saving plays such as these:
Alek Thomas makes two incredible plays to steal a homer and a hit away from Joey Votto! pic.twitter.com/IBRPQdKTLW
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) June 9, 2022
“I think the way he patrols the outfield, the confidence he has and translates that offensively, and what we’re going to probably see on the bases in time,” Hazen said. “I do think that’s probably experience that’s needed to be more impactful on the basis. We think he’s a really good player.”
With the Diamondbacks continuing to develop their young talent, Hazen has pinpointed the type of player he wants to build a core around.
“We need more Alex Thomases. We are working on having more of those guys,” the D-backs GM said. “I think we have some more of those guys coming and we’re going to acquire more of those guys in time too.
“But having those types of players like what (Daulton) Varsho, (Geraldo) Perdomo, Thomas and (Ketel) Marte show you in the middle of the field — I think that group in the middle of the diamond, that sort of sets the standard if you’re playing very well in those areas for having a good baseball team.”