BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (July 11, 2017) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim announced that first baseman Matt Thaiss , the No. 2 prospect in the organization, according to MLB Pipeline and Baseball America, will join the Mobile BayBears from Class A Advanced Inland Empire.
Thaiss, 22, was selected by the Angels in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2016 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Virginia. He posted a .265 average, hit eight home runs, and drove in 48 runs in 84 games with Inland Empire this year. Thaiss' season highlights include a pair of four-hit games, on April 23 and July 4, and a career-high 10-game hitting streak, stretching from June 24 to July 4.
In his first professional season in 2016, Thaiss slashed .292/.361/.462 with six home runs and 43 RBI in 67 games between Rookie-level Orem and Class A Burlington. He drew 26 walks and struck out just 32 times. Following the season, he was named a MiLB.com Angels Organization All-Star.
Primarily playing catcher in college, Thaiss helped lead Virginia to consecutive appearances in the College World Series Finals in 2014 and 2015. The school captured its first national championship in 2015. Across his three seasons with the Cavaliers, Thaiss combined to hit .338 with 115 runs scored, 36 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs, and 130 RBI.
Thaiss was born and currently resides in Jackson, N.J. He was the second New Jersey native to be selected in the first round by the Angels, joining outfielder Mike Trout, who was drafted No. 25 overall in 2009. Thaiss is one of four MLB Pipeline Top 10 Angels prospects on the BayBears active roster, joining pitcher Grayson Long (No. 5), pitcher Jaime Barria (No. 8), and infielder David Fletcher (No. 9).
In a corresponding move, infielder Jared Walsh has been transferred to Inland Empire.
The BayBears continue a four-game road series against the Birmingham Barons Tuesday at 7:05 p.m. CT. Live coverage can be seen on MiLB.tv (Birmingham feed, subscription required, promo code: BAYBEARS) and heard on the BayBears Broadcast Network, the TuneIn Radio App, and the MiLB First Pitch App, with the Countdown to First Pitch starting at 6:45 p.m. CT.
The BayBears return home Wednesday, July 19, and host a total of 70 home dates through Labor Day, September 4. Single-game tickets and ticket packages are currently on sale. Season tickets and group and hospitality offerings for the 2017 season can be reserved by calling (251) 479-BEAR (2327).
About the Mobile BayBears
The Mobile BayBears are the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles of Anaheim and play their games at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The BayBears were founded in 1997 and have won four Southern League titles in 1998, 2004, 2011, and 2012. Additionally, the 1998 and 2011 championship squads were named Minor League Team of the Year by Baseball America. More than 160 former BayBears have reached the Major League level, including All-Stars Max Scherzer, Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Peavy, Carlos Gonzalez, and Justin Upton. For more information on the Mobile BayBears and Hank Aaron Stadium, please visit MobileBayBears.com, call (251) 479-BEAR (2327), or contact Steve Goldberg via email at Steve@MobileBayBears.com.