Baseball America continued their rankings of the top prospects by league on Tuesday morning with the Appalachian League. The Bristol Pirates and Pittsburgh Pirates are represented on that list by right-handed pitcher Tahnaj Thomas.
Thomas was acquired from the Cleveland Indians during the off-season in the Jordan Luplow/Max Moroff deal. The 20-year-old from the Bahamas had a 3.17 ERA in 48.1 innings, with 59 strikeouts, a .217 BAA and a 1.12 WHIP. BA has him with a 4.10 ERA, but that is wrong. Thomas had the fourth best ERA among the top 20 in the league in innings pitched.
BA has Thomas ranked 19th in the league and noted that he regularly got into the mid-90s with his velocity. That sounds like an old report because he hasn’t been mid-90s since early spring this year before a minor shoulder injury shut him down for a short time. Thomas was 95-99 MPH all season at Bristol, touching 101 MPH and regularly hitting 99 MPH late in games. They note that he had better control this year, so you have to wonder that if they knew he was throwing about 4-5 MPH more on average over last year, if he would have improved in their rankings. Their notes also sound dated on his changeup and slider, so despite the fact that it’s good to see him in the top 20, they seem to be missing some key information that should get him ranked higher. Among pitchers in the league, he is rated as the fourth best.
BA has now posted every list that is relevant to the Pirates except the Gulf Coast League, which should be later this week. There is no list scheduled for the Dominican Summer League. The Pirates had three players on the International League list and Oneil Cruz made the Florida State League list. Ji-Hwan Bae made the South Atlantic League list, while neither Altoona nor Morgantown had a player in the top 20 of their leagues.