June 8, 2007
Providence, RI - Brown catcher Devin Thomas (Gainesville, FL) was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the seventh round (241st overall) of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft today. Thomas, the unanimous Ivy League Player of the Year, becomes the 17th Brown player chosen since MLB began having a draft in 1965, and is the Bears' highest draftee since Bill Almon '74 was taken first overall by the San Diego Padres in 1974. He becomes the sixth player drafted during Head Coach Marek Drabinski's 11 years at Brown.
Thomas' likely destination will be to the Oneonta Tigers of the Short-Season-A New York-Penn League. He could also begin with the Tigers' entry in the Rookie Gulf Coast League, which plays in Lakeland, Florida, while an aggressive placement would have him playing for the West Michigan Whitecaps of the Single-A Midwest League.
Thomas led or tied for the Ivy League lead in hits (70), runs (51), runs batted in (64), home runs (16), and total bases (137). In League play, he led the Ancient Eight in runs (24), home runs (7), runs batted in (28), total bases (67), and slugging percentage (.859). He currently ranks sixth nationally in RBI per game (1.33), 14th in home runs per game (0.33), and 15th in slugging percentage (.729). He set Brown single-season records in runs, RBI, and home runs, and finished his career ranked in the top 10 in 10 of the 13 all-time hitting categories that have been kept.
A switch-hitter who throws with his right hand, Thomas possesses the ability to hit for average, the ability to hit for power, and great speed for a catcher. Defensively, he is solid behind the plate and has a good arm, as Ivy League teams attempted to steal on Thomas and the Bears fewer times than any other team, attempting just 17 steals in 20 contests. Thomas showed off his speed by finishing second to leadoff batter Steve Daniels (Fox Point, WI) in triples (4) and stolen bases (12). A durable player, Thomas played in every inning of every game this season, catching all but 12 of Brown's 384 defensive innings, or 97 percent of Brown's season. For his career, Thomas played in 171 of Brown's 172 games, starting 168 of them.
Here's a list of Brown's other draftees, according to www.baseball-reference.com:
2005 - OF Matt Kutler (Marlins, 24th round)
OF Eric Larson (Blue Jays, 44th round)
2003 - P Dan Spring (Tigers, 42nd round)
2001 - 2B Dan Kantrovitz (Cardinals, 25th round)
1999 - P Graeme Brown (Mets, 37th round)
1992 - SS Todd Carey (Red Sox, 9th round)
1987 - P Steve McCarthy (Reds, 11th round)
1983 - P Chuck McGrath (Cardinals, 17th round)
1982 - OF Hank Landers (Brewers, 12th round)
1976 - C Richard Hand (Pirates, January Secondary Draft, 5th round)
1974 - SS Bill Almon (Padres, 1st round, 1st overall)
1971 - OF Robert Flanders (Tigers, 23rd round)
1968 - OF Tom Skendarian (Red Sox, January Secondary Draft, 4th round)
P Alan Hefferon (Athletics (21st round)
1967 - OF Tom Skendarian (Orioles, 64th round)
1966 - 3B Steve Kadison (Twins, 45th round)