is Michael Thomas, a very raw, small school, no-hit-tool catcher drafted in the 12th round (120K) of the 2009 draft. At 6-4 220, with some of he best raw arm strength of that draft, it looks like TX will attempt to convert him into a power reliever. His only experience pitching after high school was 3.1 innings out of the pen in 2009. This could be the kind of kid TX wanted to take a flyer on in the later rounds in 09 with the same intentions to convert him to the pen. It is also likely that some scouts preferred him as a pitcher at the time of the draft. In fact, Anaheim drafted him as a pitcher out of HS in 2006 (22nd rd) so one would assume that he had at least one secondary offering at that time. It is also possible that Boston had already started to transition him to pitching, as he was demoted to short season ball and has not appeared in a game in almost 3 weeks. Could be a kid who sits mid-90s right away and moves quickly if had enough HS innings to develop a breaking ball by the time of the 06 draft. Here is BA's 2009 draft profile:
Few position players in the 2009 draft can match Michael Thomas' raw arm strength, but the operative word in all phases of his game is "raw." Facing mediocre college competition, he threw out just four of 26 basestealers (15 percent this spring). He also needs to polish his receiving and make adjustments at the plate. Six-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he has plenty of strength and righthanded power potential, but he batted just .213 with wood bats in the Cape Cod League last summer. His bat speed is questionable and he doesn't use his lower half well in his swing. Thomas missed two months this spring with a broken left hand. He'll need plenty of development time in pro ball, though his ceiling is intriguing.
Here is an interesting update on the signing from Evan Grant showing that they had a couple of scouts who were familiar with him in both 2006 and 2009:
Thomas' only pitching experience was a brief experiment on the mound at Southern, but Rangers scouts John Booher (who signed Thomas while with the Red Sox last year) and Randy Taylor (who scouted him in high school) both thought that his above-average throwing arm and 6-3, 215-pound body might make him a candidate for a drastic position switch."The guys who saw him thought he was an interesting guy with a plus tool and a good physical frame," GM Jon Daniels said. "We ask our guys when they are on the road to look not only for the obvious guys, but also for any creative recommendations they might have. You never know how it may turn it."
The Rangers agreed to make Thomas the Player To Be Named Later without approaching him on the idea, but when he was asked about the possibility Saturday, he readily accepted, Daniels said. Thomas will go to the club's Surprise, Az., facility and start a throwing program for the next couple of weeks and then will return for the Fall Instructional League.