Binghamton alumnus Jake Thomas, ‘15, is making waves throughout Minor League Baseball. The 23-year-old outfielder, who has been heralded for his consistency and patience, is starting to see the benefits of his patient approach come to fruition: on June 4, Thomas made his Double A debut for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats after posting an impressive .457 OBP with the Single A Lansing Lugnuts.
The outfielder has earned attention throughout the Toronto Blue Jays’ organization due to his exceptional fielding and elite ability to get on base. Along with his OBP percentage, which ranked fourth in the minor leagues, Thomas has yet to commit an error in the field this season. Thomas’s persistence and preparation on and off of the field can be credited to his commitment throughout the year, which developed from his experiences with current big leaguers.
“I’ve been with a couple of guys who have been rehabbing,” Thomas said. “It helps my mentality … seeing how they work on a daily basis. In the off-season you’re working your butt off just as much as in-season.”
While he may have added some of these intangibles since being drafted in 2015, Thomas has always been known for his consistency. In addition to compiling a cumulative .457 OBP and .983 fielding percentage in the Minors, Thomas’s productivity provided a calming effect during his time with the Bearcats. Throughout his college career, Thomas’s poise developed through daunting scenarios that arose frequently.
“[I learned to,] as a team, overcome struggles,” Thomas said. “We’ve had a couple times in my career, individually and as a team, that we were behind or we were counted out, but we came back. My junior season we lost the first game of the America East Tournament, came back to win five straight to win the whole thing.”
Despite being drafted in the 27th round by the Blue Jays, Thomas was unlikely to sign a contract with the organization, let alone get promoted within the minor leagues. His adjustment from college to the Minors warranted full-time commitment to the game.
“You’re at the field 12 hours a day,” Thomas said. “You play a game almost every day, and you travel. It really is like your full-time job, year-round.”
While a promotion to Double A is a remarkable achievement, Thomas aims to keep things in perspective with his sights set on the big leagues. A step closer to his ultimate goal, he recognizes the imperativeness of continuing to improve holistically.
“[Getting called up] was awesome,” he said. “It’s definitely a nice accomplishment, but I’ve got a long way to go. I really think [I need to improve in] every facet of the game. If you think there’s only one thing you need to improve, you’re not telling yourself the truth because every time, no matter if you’re a superstar or just an average player, you can get better in every facet of the game.”
With concise goals marked and a skill set built to achieve them, Thomas says he will continue to use his repetitive approach to the game with the hopes of landing a spot on an MLB roster. Making few mistakes to this point, Thomas has established a model of success that will help him in the future. All that’s left is to execute in the only way he knows how — consistently.