After trying Lane Thomas at the keystone in 2015, word from Blue Jays prospect Guru, Jay Blue, is that he will return to the outfield in 2016
Jays From the Couch takes a closer look at the news that prospect Lane Thomas may no longer be occupying the keystone position and will return to CF.
…it appears that the Lane Thomas to second base experiment is over. Thomas was spotted playing center field for the “Dunedin” group. (full article)
First thing you need to know about Lane is that he is highly skilled, and can play anywhere on the field. After two seasons in the Blue Jays minor league system, Toronto hasn’t nailed down a position for the 2014 5th round pick. In High School, Thomas played mainly CF. In his first professional season, Lane split time between 3rd and CF.
In 2015, the Blue Jays attempted the 6’1″ native of Knoxville at 2nd with the Vancouver Canadians and Lansing Lugnuts. Lane struggled with the position change. At times it appeared that game in the field was moving too fast for him, which caused him to rush things. Thomas committed 20 errors in 45 games with a 4.80 RangeFactor and .915Fld%.
Struggles in the field may have followed Lane Thomas to the plate as he struggled to find consistency. Despite hitting .206 with an OPS of .597, Thomas produced around league average with .295 wOBA and 80 wRC+ thanks to consistently making hard contact.
So how does switching Lane Thomas back to the outfield effect the Blue Jays farm?
With only Christian Lopes in New Hampshire and Dickie Joe Thon in Dunedin ahead of him, Lane’s path to the majors would be quicker as a 2nd baseman. Lansing will have Jason Leblebijian and Gunnar Heidt at 2nd in 2016.
Thomas will have stiffer competition as a CF in his quest to becoming a major league ball player. Buffalo has future Blue Jay Dalton Pompey. New Hampshire has feel good story and burner Roemon Fields. Dunedin will start the year with #1 Blue Jays Prospect Anthony Alford, but there’s a chance he starts the year in New Hampshire. Lansing will have Thomas and Andrew Guillotte should graduate from Vancouver after a successful pro debut in 2015. Vancouver will have Panama’s Rodrigo Orozco.
Whether Thomas plays 2nd or CF, he will need some balls to start dropping in his favor (.160 BABIP) and lower his K% (26.3) if he hopes to reach the potential that’s seen him ranked 29th in the Blue Jays system by MLB.com .
Jays From the Couch thanks Jay Blue for the update and will continue to follow Lane Thomas in 2016.
*Featured Image Credit: Joel Dinda- UNDER: CC BY-SA 2.0
THANK YOU FOR VISITING JAYS FROM THE COUCH! CHECK US OUT ON TWITTER@JAYSFROMCOUCH AND LIKE US FACEBOOK. BE SURE TO CATCH THE JAYS NEST PODCAST
Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn’t cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I’m more right.