Alek Thomas almost needed two hands to count his hits Tuesday night.Arizona's No. 7 prospect racked up a career-high five hits, tripling, doubling, driving in two runs and scoring twice as Class A Kane County cruised past Peoria, 11-3, at Dozer Park.
Alek Thomas almost needed two hands to count his hits Tuesday night.
Arizona's No. 7 prospect racked up a career-high five hits, tripling, doubling, driving in two runs and scoring twice as Class A Kane County cruised past Peoria, 11-3, at Dozer Park.
Thomas singled to center field off right-hander Michael Brettell in the first inning, coming around to score on a three-run homer by Jose Herrera. He got to Brettell again in the second, knocking a double to right to plate 23rd-ranked D-backs prospect Eduardo Diaz.
The 19-year-old grounded a single to center to drive home Tra Holmes in the fourth, then continued his barrage with a base hit to right in the sixth. He picked up his fifth hit in the eighth, tripling to right off 6-foot-5 right-hander Sebastian Tabata before scoring on Herrera's sacrifice fly.
With a chance for the cycle in the ninth, the Chicago native struck out on a 3-2 pitch by lefty Evan Sisk.
Thomas admitted that only one thing was on his mind during his last at-bat.
"I was definitely going for the home run," he laughed. "I was facing a lefty with a funky delivery and he got me on a check swing on a 3-2 pitch. I had one good pitch to hit and fouled it off."
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The outfielder called the five-hit game a "great accomplishment," but understood it was just one game in a long line of many. Recalling a bad stretch of at-bats, Thomas learned how to keep his confidence up and carry on.
"You really have to just bear down and try to figure out what is going on and try to not let it get into your head because you know you are going to have better days," he said. "Keep on working hard and keep your mind straight. That's what I have really learned so far."
He doesn't have to look far to find advice on what it takes to make it in baseball. His father, Allen Thomas, is the longtime Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and played two seasons in the Minors.
"Definitely having him is a great thing," the younger Thomas said. "He always sends me a text saying, 'Hey, you need to do this if you want to be in the big leagues.'"
The Cougars' coaching staff, which he called "a fun group of guys," are also there to guide him through the process of becoming a pro.
"This game is about adjustments and they are there just to help me along and teach me," Thomas said. "They help me figure out what is going on if I have anything going on. They tell me to just keep on doing my routine. I still have some work to do and try to make Double-A, try to make Triple-A and eventually try and do it in the Majors."
Thomas previously notched a pair of four-hit games, most recently on May 22 against Quad Cities.
The second-round pick in last year's Draft ranks eighth in the Midwest League with a .302 average. He has seven homers, four triples, 15 doubles, 47 runs scored, 34 RBIs and eight stolen bases in 69 games after splitting his debut season between the Rookie-level Arizona League and Rookie Advanced Missoula.
Herrera finished with five RBIs and D-backs No. 9 prospect Blaze Alexander notched four hits -- including a triple, an RBI and a run scored. Buddy Kennedy -- Arizona's No. 18 prospect -- hit a solo homer, while Diaz doubled twice and scored three times and sixth-ranked Geraldo Perdomo went 3-for-4 with a walk and an RBI.
Adrian Del Moral (1-0) got the win in his Midwest League debut, giving up two unearned runs on three hits and a walk with four strikeouts over five innings. Blake Workman gave up a run on four hits while fanning five the rest of the way for his eighth save.
Brian Stultz is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @brianjstultz.