Cody Thomas Making Noise as NRI

thomas
(CBS Sports photo)

It seems like every spring there are at least one or two prospects who capitalize on their opportunities during Cactus League play, perhaps showing fans of the Dodgers what might lie in store several years down the road.

So far in 2020, there have been a handful of youngsters worth noting, but one who has stuck out a little more than the rest is 25-year-old outfielder Cody Thomas.

Before Sunday’s contest against the Rangers, the native of Texas has appeared in seven of the Dodgers’ nine Cactus League games. He has gone 4-for-13 in those appearances, with all four hits being of the long ball variety. Most notably, two of those dingers came in the same inning against the Rockies on Saturday.

Earlier in the week, he made a leaping play in right field against the White Sox that made several highlight reels.

“He’s an interesting guy,” skipper Dave Roberts recently said of Thomas. “Football player, quarterback. The body is great, skill set is really good. First pitch he saw, he hits a homer the other way, and makes a great play in right field. Really, really good day for Cody.”

Thomas was originally selected in the 30th round of the 2013 draft by the Yankees, but he instead chose to enroll at the University of Oklahoma, where he became a two-sport athlete.

In 2015, he quit the baseball team to focus on football, trying to win the open quarterback competition which ultimately went to Baker Mayfield. In 2016, he reversed course and set his sights on baseball as his primary vision, posting numbers that were good enough for the Dodgers to grab him in the 13th round of the draft later that summer.

Soon after, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder was ushered to Ogden in the Pioneer League, where he hit .276/.360/.576 with 16 homers and 44 RBI over 52 games. His 16 bombs earned him the league’s 2016 Joe Bauman Home Run Award.

In 2017, he played the entire season at Low-A Great Lakes, slashing a not-so-impressive .222/.293/.409. He managed to hit 20 home runs that year, but he also struck out a whopping 150 times.

Upon being promoted to the High-A Cal League in 2018, he upped his numbers by hitting .285/.355/.497 with 19 bombs over 499 AB. Still, his 163 punchouts that season were seemingly damaging to an otherwise stellar stat sheet. Nevertheless, he was still named as a Cal League All-Star and a milb.com Organizational All-Star. He also earned Cal League Player of the Week honors twice.

Playing exclusively for Double-A Tulsa last year, he hit .236/.308/.443 with 23 jacks and 76 RBI in 474 AB. His punchouts dropped to 144, but his high strikeout rate still remains one of the biggest holes in his game.

For the Drillers defensively last season, Thomas appeared in 26 games in left field, 31 in center and 69 in right.

Thomas was eligible for the Rule 5 draft at the 2019 Winter Meetings, but he did not draw enough interest for a rival team to snag him and keep him on its active roster for the entirety of the 2020 season.

Regardless, he has impressed Los Angeles management enough in recent years to extend a non-roster invite to the big league side of this year’s spring camp.

So far, he’s capitalized on that opportunity.

“I’m just out there trying to do my job, man,” Thomas said early in camp. “Making plays, having fun and play the game I know how, and that’s hard and with great focus every play.”

With almost two-thirds of the Cactus League schedule yet to be played, Thomas will have many chances to show management just where he stands in the organization as far as outfield depth goes.

 

34 thoughts on “Cody Thomas Making Noise as NRI

  1. Thomas and DJ Peters are very similar. Both are big guys with excellent power and terrific athleticism. Both are hard workers with good attitudes. Both strike out way too often. Each of them might have his moment (and I do mean moment) in the sun in MLB but if they don’t learn to curb their strike outs ultimately MLB pitching will eat them alive. Hopefully one of the Dodger hitting gurus will be able to help them.

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    1. I agree. Against better pitching their weaknesses can be exposed. I would tell them what I still believe to be true – you can swing for the seats on strike one, you can swing for the alleys on strike two, you must learn how to hit on strike three. Learning how to hit with two strikes appears to be a lost art.

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    1. Thomas has been impressive. McKinstry has shown a lot too. He hit his second spring homer today and is hitting .471. The guys is opening some eyes that is for sure.

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      1. All of those guys are securing roster spots in the minors. You know who else is? May and Lux. One month there gives the Dodgers more options down the road. I’m ok with it. We will be in first place when they are called up.

        Kolorek got bombed today.

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      2. Yeah he did. Bad inning for sure. First 4 innings went well then the wheels fell off of the buggy. Spirited comeback though. 2 weeks into spring and May has not thrown yet. He will open at OKC for sure. Gonsolin is making a good case to be on the team. He has pitched well. Treinen has not thrown yet I think. Kolarek gave up 5 straight hits. Shows how 1 bad inning can really screw up your ERA. Wood had the same thing happen to him. Ferguson is pitching really well so far. I just checked, Treinen has not pitched yet. Price and Urias are supposed to make their spring debuts tomorrow against Gray and the Reds. Lux has not impressed much so far. He did get 2 hits in the split squad game yesterday. Roberts has not committed to naming him the starter yet.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow that starting pitching lineup is gonna be pretty impressive at OKC. May, Gray, Gonsolin, Santana and White. There are some MLB clubs who would take that staff!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They may use Santana as a reliever because most think that will be his role if/when he reaches L.A.. That said, the other four are a very good starting staff.

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      1. Gonzalez is a starter by trade also. Might begin the year in Tulsa. I just sent a nasty note to Dylan Hernandez on twitter. He might know baseball, but he knows bupkis about music and was saying that someone who does the Anthem acappella, that means without music to you novices out there, is disrespecting the country and the fans. What an idiot. If the singer is talented enough and confident enough to go out there and do it without music, and can make it sound good, who is this moron to judge what is disrespectful or not???? As a Vet, and someone who sang the anthem at Dodger Stadium, excuse my French but he is full of Bull Puckey and not a music critic or schooled enough in music to judge anyone. He simply should have stated that he himself was not a fan……what a $%&&*((&^%^$&*( hole.

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      2. Agree 100% Bear. The best sporting event anthem I ever heard was an acapella version done by a pastor at Dodger Stadium. It still gives me chills to think about it. I’ve also been forced to listen to some horrible renditions done by singers with plenty of musical backup.

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  3. Funny you should mention that Jefe. One of the worst I have ever heard, outside of the Roseanne Barr embarrassment in Dago, was Ole Blue Eyes himself on an opening day. Forgot some words, and was not at his advanced age at the time, at the top of his game. Some of the best came from Toni Tenille. She was a huge fan and sang it often in the 80’s. I heard a young vet sing it there once, and his range was amazing.

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  4. Speaking of making an impression, Kasowski has done that. He has given up 2 hits in 3 innings, but nothing else and he struck out 4. Jansen and Santana lead the team so far with 6 apiece. Jansen has been perfect in 3 innings of work. His off season adjustment seems to be working so far.

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    1. Saw an interview with Kenley after his inning today and he didn’t seem real happy. Said his command was off but he needs to keep working and fighting through that. You could tell by the look on his face that he might be having a few doubts again. Hopefully he’ll be more pleased with his performance next time out.

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      1. One bad outing does not really affect the confidence level most of these guys have. Especially the Vets. Now Kolarek, who is a bubble guy anyway, probably feels like he was hit by a train after that performance today. But missing your spots, and still getting a clean inning, not much to worry about there.

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      2. Normally I would totally agree with your statement, but even in most of his bad outings in the past Kenley has put up this façade of extreme confidence. Today it just seemed to be missing. Hopefully I just totally misread it. I can afford to be wrong once because the Shlemmings were right! 🙂

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      3. Those outings were not in spring. A little early for even Jansen to hit the panic button. I think he is going to have a good year.

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      4. The stuff looks good to me but at this early stage it’s who is striking out who and who is clobbering who. We’re seeing a lot of guys that will be sent out in the coming days. The important thing at this point is timing for the hitters and command for the pitchers. They’ve only been there a few days. Mid March is when I pay more attention. I remember several years ago Eric Karros saying to the media “it’s only MAY”. Baseball seasons are very long.

        My confidence level remains high.

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      1. The ten days are flying by. Playing golf again today before driving to Flagstaff. Then on the the Grand Canyon for a Helicopter tour. Back to Scottsdale for more golf and then the Dodgers game at Hohokem vs A’s before heading home.

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  5. I remember a guy named Tatis hitting 2 slams in an inning. I was watching that game. Probably the worst day of Chan Ho Park’s life.

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    1. I was on the road with my business partner years ago and he ate 2 Denny’s Grand Slam’s in one day. He said they both Tatis great.

      Anyone watch the Lakers game yesterday? Zion Williamson is 19 years old. He’s only 6’7”, but plays taller. I wonder if he’s going to grow. They say he is.

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      1. I watched some of it. Have seen him play a few times. Kid is definitely legit. Got a lot of praise from Lebron after they played the Lakers the first time. Bellinger scratched from today’s lineup with side stiffness. Participated in a golf benefit sponsored by Pujols yesterday. Roberts said the stiffness is not related to that…….hmmmm……….do not need Cody out for any length of time. Price and Urias set to make debuts today against the Reds in about 10 minutes.

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  6. Just read Keith Law’s new prospect ratings at the Athletic and 3 of the Top 5 are in the NL West. LA, Arizona and San Diego are 3-5. Even SF makes the Top 10 though most of their talent is under 20 hitters. It might tighten up in the coming years. But not this year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it’s just unbelievably great.

      With the limits on International Signing, the restraints for being over the luxury threshold (until this year) and always picking in the final third of the draft.

      For this team to be ranked #3 AFTER graduating so many great players.

      It’s bonkers.

      Liked by 2 people

  7. Price did not fare too good in his first outing. Lasted less than 2 innings and had a runner on with one out when he left. Reds scored 2 off of him in the 1st. Beaty got off the schneid in the second with his first spring bomb.

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    1. Urias lasted 2/3 of an inning, gave up 2 runs on one hit. Like you said, they should get better. I never put much into spring games, which is why I am not at all worried about Pollock. As long as the guys make it through injury free, it is a win win to me.

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      1. Price said he was nervous and that his knees were shaking when he went out there. Quite a revelation for a vet like him. Dodger pitchers today having some issues. Gray gave up 2 runs in 2/3rds of an inning. Kasowski gave up 2 hits, but otherwise nothing. Dodger hitters not doing well at all today.

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  8. You check the averages so far this spring and no one is tearing the cover off of the ball. Pitchers are still way ahead of the hitters. Ever not feel sorry for a team having issues?>??? Well, the Yankees have starters dropping like flies, they have lost Severino and Paxton, and have a couple others battling issues also. The have checked in with the Mets about Steven Matz, and a couple of other teams also. Astros are crying about the fans heckling their players, and getting hit so many times so far. One exe Astro, who was on the 17 team, Ken Giles, said he would give his ring back if it was asked for. He did not agree with the cheating that was going on.

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  9. Lose to Reds, 6-2. Never really in the game. Santana struck out 2 more. Kasowski, although he allowed 4 base runners, managed to throw 1.1 clean innings. Beaty collected to hits, including his first homer.

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