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Lane Thomas Improving All-Around

Young outfielder improved in both phases of the game in 2016

Lane Thomas Improving All-Around

January 5, 2017

Lane Thomas improved in both phases of the game in 2016. (Kyle Castle)

Lane Thomas improved in both phases of the game in 2016. (Kyle Castle)

 

Improving in every aspect of his game last season, outfielder Lane Thomas has made the necessary improvements to prepare himself for a promotion this spring.

One of his biggest improvements came in the batter’s box where Thomas made positive strides in his ability to recognize pitches quicker for better results.

“I worked really hard at recognizing pitches earlier last season,” explained Thomas. “I’m not rushing anything in the batter’s box. I’m just staying loose at the plate and that’s my plan to make sure I’m not late on pitches.”

His efforts in the batter’s box definitely showed in 2016, as Thomas picked up 70 hits, which included: 19 doubles, a triple, and eight home runs in 303 at-bats split between the GCL Blue Jays, and the low-A Lansing Lugnuts.

This adjustment at the plate caught the eye of Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach Donnie Murphy, who feels Thomas is years ahead of his age in the batter’s box. 

“Lane is a very mature hitter for his age,” stated Murphy. “Lane is definitely a young kid that’s still learning the ups and downs of the game. I can guarantee that Lane isn’t exactly where he wants to be right now, but he never appears that way. Lane always looks like he’s doing well, as he continues to work hard and get better every day.”

But his improvements didn’t end at the plate, as Thomas put up better numbers defensively as well.

His improvements came about by the organization letting him play more at his natural position. Drafted as an outfielder, the Blue Jays tried to convert Thomas into a second baseman a year earlier, but it didn’t go well, “I’ve always been an outfielder. Playing in the infield was new in 2015, so moving back to the outfield has been great. I’m very comfortable out there.” stated Thomas.

Logging 612 innings in the outfield last season, Thomas maintained an impressive .993 fielding percentage. But Thomas has more than range, he also has a strong arm that he showcased well in Lansing, as he picked up 10 outfield assists, and took part in four double plays in 2016.

Now that Thomas is back in his natural spot, fans can expect to see more positive strides from the prospect in 2017.

Supporters of the Toronto Blue Jays will definitely want to be on the lookout for Lane Thomas, as he continues to be a solid prospect in their system for many years.