Betcha can't read just one!

Ian Thomas signed by Atlanta Braves, heads to Class A Rome of Sally League

When I took Ian Thomas’s headshot during spring training and added it to the website, he saw his player page and requested a new one.  He was wearing his bill too high and looked like a goof.  After a re-shoot with his hat pulled down, he looked like a ballplayer, and this time it stuck.  Good thing he made the request – because as it turns out it’s his headshot that winds up being the first with a recognizeable logo on it during the 2012 season.

The Atlanta Braves dipped into the Atlantic League for a second time in a week Thursday, purchasing Thomas’s contract and assigning him to the Class A Rome Braves of the South Atlantic League.  It’s unusual for an Atlantic League player to report to a lower level such as the Sally League upon being signed, but Thomas was one of the younger players in the league, lacking the Double-A and above experience most of the players on the circuit have.  Nevertheless, he was dominant during his three-week stay with the Revolution, and if he had success against the veteran hitters of this league, he should thrive in the lower levels.  Hopefully we see him moving through the Braves farm system sooner than later…and I have a feeling he’ll be promoted soon.  Above him are the A-Advanced Lynchburg Hillcats (Carolina League), the Double-A Mississipppi Braves (Southern League) and the Triple-A Gwinnett Braves (International League). 

A few days ago, the Braves signed MLB vet Felix Pie (Cubs, Orioles) to a deal and assigned him to Gwinnett, taking him away from Camden.

Here’s the official press release:

(York, Pa – May 17, 2012): The two-time defending Atlantic League Champion York Revolution has announced the contract of left-handed relief pitcher Ian Thomas has been purchased by the Atlanta Braves. With the transaction, Thomas becomes the first Revolution player this season to have his contract purchased by a Major League organization.
Thomas, 25, is one of the younger Revolution players in history, and joined the club for his first Atlantic League experience after three seasons with the Winnipeg Goldeyes. In 82 professional appearances prior to 2012 with Winnipeg, Thomas was 11-5 with a 2.03 ERA, averaging 10.4 strikeouts per nine innings, allowing just 6.6 hits over nine innings. He was the Northern League’s Rookie of The Year in 2010 after going 5-1 with four saves and a 1.64 ERA that season.
Thomas was a good as advertised once a Rev, dominant out of the York bullpen. In seven appearances and 9.1 innings pitched, the southpaw allowed just one run, while striking out 12. His ERA during his brief stay in York was 0.96.
The Braves acquisition of Thomas will be his first regular season experience with an MLB organization. The Norfolk, VA native and Virginia Beach resident pitched collegiately in his home state at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, graduating in 2009.
-Paul Braverman

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