Alek Thomas ’18 called up to the Major Leagues


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Coach Hurry and Thomas pose for a picture in 2019 when Thomas was playing for the Arizona Diamonbacks’ minor league affiliate Kane County Cougars.

Alek Thomas, Mount Carmel Class of 2018, was called up to the Major Leagues to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, May 8. He was in the starting lineup for their 4-0 win in the series finale versus the Rockies at Chase Field, starting in center field and batting eighth, going 1-for-3. He recorded his first career hit with a leadoff double in the fifth inning. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a while,” Thomas said. “So really excited to be here.”

Brain Hurry, the Assistant Dean of Students, has been the head varsity baseball coach at Mount Carmel for twenty-five years. He saw the competitive nature of Thomas as well as his athleticism. “He didn’t have a too good attitude,” said Hurry. “He just wanted to get better every day, and that’s what made him special.”

It is near impossible to make it to the Major Leagues for any baseball player. Since Coach Hurry was the head coach he’s had nineteen players sign professional contracts. Thomas is the only second player during Coach Hurry’s MC tenure to the Major Leagues, the other being Cesar Carillo ’02 who attended the University of Miami and debuted for the San Diego Padres in 2009. “I think part of everyone being so happy is we know what kind of person he is,” Hurry said of Thomas. “It makes it extra special because he’s a really good guy.”

For Thomas baseball runs in the family. Allen Thomas, Aleks father was the former Director of Strength and Conditioning for the White Sox, played a major role in Aleks upbringing regarding baseball. Allen Thomas was a 45th-round pick by the White Sox in 1996. He topped out at Class-A ball before transitioning into the coaching profession. “I wouldn’t be here without my dad and where he’s come from and what he’s been through,” Alek said

An attribute that outshines other players on the Diamondbacks is Thomas’s patience and approach at the plate. “He’s played well {at Triple-A},” Arizona general manager Mike Hazen said. “He’s walked like nine times in eight days and been pretty consistent with that part of the approach. That was something we sent him down there with [out of Spring Training], and he’s done a good job. He’s played elite center field.”

As for playing time Thomas figures to be the everyday center fielder. The D-Backs manager Torey Lovullo enjoys getting players called up ready to participate in the game. He would rather have this instead of letting players sit down and allowing their nerves to build up. “His talent is one of the best in our system, and he’s gone out in the Minor Leagues and performed at every step of the way,” Hazen said. 

Alek Thomas has worked hard for this spot in the Major Leagues. Not only does it show that his hard work and dedication paid off. “Alek Thomas is the best high school baseball player that not only have I ever coached but that I have ever seen,” Coach Hurry says. “He’s even a better person, a better teammate, and a great competitor.”