How Diamondbacks of Alek Thomas Can Finish His Season on A High Note

How Diamondbacks of Alek Thomas Can Finish His Season on A High Note

Alek Thomas, an outfielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks, has had an up-and-down rookie season thus far. The 22-year-old made his major league debut after 48 plate appearances with a slash line of.326/.354/.609. His slash line during his subsequent 210 plate appearances, however, was.225/.290/.335.

And now that August has here, he is finding grass more frequently. His average is.257 and in 74 plate appearances, he has hit.298 on balls in play, which is 34 points better than it was in the 210-plate appearance sample.

“That seventh shot attempt is probably going to be a three-point shot when a three-point shooter starts off 0-for-6, more often than not,” Let me attempt a layup right now. See the ball go in,'” D-backs assistant general manager Mike Fitzgerald remarked during an Arizona Sports appearance with Wolf & Luke. “I believe Alek has been experiencing it throughout the past few days.”

Thomas had five hits, an RBI, and two runs scored in each of his previous two games going into play on Wednesday. Additionally, in nine plate appearances, he has reached base six times.

Fitzgerald remarked, “The last two nights in particular, it seems to have been a byproduct of him trying to simplify the game a little bit. Thomas doesn’t require his power to manifest itself. Three home runs in his first 48 plate appearances resulted in an ISO of.283, but it has since dropped to just.103. He dropped from 131 points above to 49 points below the league average this season, with a.152 ISO, the league average for hitters.

Fitzgerald remarked, “[Thomas] wants to be a gap-to-gap man. But when we have difficulties and things aren’t flowing as effortlessly, I believe that being able to simplify things a little and say, “You know what? I’m going to win today if I hit four line drives and truly be confident in my strategy. I believe he has somewhat returned to that.

For Thomas, hitting line drives would be a victory because he excels when he raises the ball.

He is slashing.406/.402/.792 with a.386 ISO in 102 plate appearances that result in a fly ball or line drive. These scores are all higher than the league average. His 227 wRC+, which takes the run environment into consideration and sets 100 as the league average, places him in the top 100 out of 249 batters.

On the other hand, he only has a slash of.241/.241/.248 with a ground ball ISO of.007. He hits the ball on the ground 58.7% of the time, which is the highest rate among all MLB players with at least 300 plate appearances, despite the fact that that is around the league average for grounders.

Only 14 of the 217 batters with at least 300 at-bats and a wRC+ above 100 also have a ground ball rate above 50%.

The young outfielder’s overall slash line is.248/.301/.378. Expect those figures to drastically increase if he continues to use a line drive strategy over the remaining 40 games.

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