Ian Thomas invited to MLB spring training with Braves
We’ve pontificated here for a while that former Revolution southpaw Ian Thomas has the best chance to be the next York alum to reach the Majors, which would make him the fifth former Rev to do so. Thomas took a big step forward in accomplishing that today, when he was invited by the Atlanta Braves to Major League spring training. We first saw the news reported on Twitter by The York Dispatch Revolution beat reporter John Walk.
While Thomas’s chances at making the 25-man roster out of camp are very remote after his first season at Double-A Mississippi in 2013, he will get his feet wet against big league competition in camp, and hopefully in Grapefruit League action. That’s an accomplishment in itself for a player without Triple-A experience. After two superb seasons in Atlanta’s system, he’ll likely be ticketed for a season at Triple-A Gwinnett. After exclusively being a reliever as a pro, the Braves made him a starter for his final 13 appearances of last season plus playoffs, where he continued to find success.
They’ll probably want to see Thomas in a full Triple-A season to decide if he’s Major League material, and hopefully he continues to perform and doesn’t have to make a return-trip to Double-A. However, if you perform in Triple-A, you’re of course always only the proverbial “one phone call away.” His relative young age for an Atlantic League alum makes him an attractive option long-term for Atlanta, and his versatility to start or relieve only helps.
Thomas, who will turn 27 in April, was signed off York’s roster in May of 2012 by the Braves. Should he reach the bigs he’d be just the second former Rev to make his MLB debut, joining fellow lefty hurler Scott Rice on last season’s Mets.