Top 10 Stories Of 2017: No. 4 The Year of Alek Thomas


Matt Huck
Midwest Area Scout/JUCO Wire Editor

Over the next few weeks, in addition to highlighting the Top 10 Player Profiles of 2017, we will also highlight the Top 10 Stories in Illinois High School Baseball during the 2017 calendar year.

Today, we’ll take a look at No. 4 The Year of Alek Thomas

Thomas, a Texas Christian commit, has long been a name on the PBR radar since his freshman year. He has been the No. 1 ranked player in the 2018 Class since the rankings debuted in July of 2015. Thomas has been a fixture in centerfield and at the top of the Mount Carmel order since his freshman year, and is already a two time PBR Illinois First Team All-State selection.

Thomas, was named Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year after his performance for the Caravan this spring. Thomas hit .455 with 10 doubles, 5 triples, and 11 home runs. He drove in 43 runs and scored 59. He walked 21 times on the year and only struck out 4 times. Even after such an impressive spring season it was the 2017 summer and fall was a turning point for Thomas on the national circuit.

Thomas started the summer with a huge performance at the Tournament of Stars in North Carolina and he was highlighted in each daily notebook from the event. Here is a look at how he turned heads on Day 1.

+ OF Alek Thomas (Mount Carmel HS, IL) started the day with a strong BP, showing a loose, easy swing from the left side. The ball jumped off his bat and he drove a couple balls to left-center field. In the game, the Texas Christian recruit had two hard hits in his first two at-bats. First, he took a 95 mph fastball away and shot it down the left-field line for a double. Then he jumped on a hanging slider for a single up the middle that was 101 off the bat. He finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and got down the line in 4.26 and 4.27 seconds on a couple groundouts.

Click links for more analysis on Thomas from the rest of TOS.
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4

Next up for Thomas was the PBR Midwest ProCase where he showed off his high end tools, highlighted by running an event best 6.43 60-yard dash. Here is his report from the event.

7.11.17 - TCU recruit, currently ranked No. 7 overall in PBR coverage area, No. 1 in Illinois’ 2018 class.  5-foot-11, 179-pound left-handed hitting outfielder, athletic, wiry-strong frame with plenty of room for continued physical development. Top-of-the-scale athlete with highly advanced baseball instincts and I.Q. Ran an event-best 6.43 laser-timed 60 on a wet track. Speed and athleticism translate all over the field. Highest level defensive centerfielder, gets advanced reads off the bat, tracks balls down to both power alleys with ease. In game, Thomas ran down two balls deep in the right-center gap, covering considerable real estate, and made it look routine. Profiles as no-doubt centerfielder at the next level with below-average arm strength. Offensively, hits from a relaxed open setup, advanced rhythm in load, pronounced leg-kick back, loose, fluid athletic hands, generates easy bat speed. Registered 95-mph exit velocity off tee. Produces big pullside power when he wanted in BP, tanking several home runs. Also shows handsy opposite-field approach with intent on getting out the box quickly. Overall, Thomas was the top prospect at the PBR Midwest ProCase, and further cemented his status as a high-round draft prospect.

Next up for Thomas was the Under Armour All-American game at Wrigley where he again showed off his speed and defense making a diving catch in the outfield.

Thomas capped off his year on the diamond by making the Team USA 18U National Team. He was the leading hitter for the team during the World Cup in Thunder Bay by hitting .361 en route to a Gold Medal.

TOP STORIES OF 2017

+ No. 4 - The Year of Alek Thomas
+ No. 5 - Neuqua Valley Goes From Preseason Unranked To 35-2-1
+ No. 6 - Teutopolis Wins Third State Title In Last Eight Years
+ No. 7 - Peoria Heights Wins First State Title In School History
+ No. 8 - Two Veteran IHSA Coaches Reach Milestone Victories
+ No. 9 - Ryan Sublette's Postseason Gem
+ No. 10 - Inaugural Metro East Kickoff Classic