AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — The Arizona Diamondbacks have announced OF Alek Thomas and RHP Ryne Nelson as the organization’s Minor League Player and Pitcher of the Year respectively.
The Amarillo Sod Poodles said, in a press release that, Thomas, 21, is the D-backs No.3 prospect by both Baseball America (25th overall) and MLB.com (40th overall). Currently, he has combined to hit .313 (136-for-435) with 29 doubles, 12 triples, 18 home runs, 59 RBI, and 13 stolen bases in 106 games with Double-A Amarillo and Triple-A Reno, including a .369 average/1.091 OPS in 34 games with the Aces.
The Chicago native is currently second among all Minor Leaguers in triples (12), is tied for 10th in extra-base hits (59), and leads the organization in hits, triples, extra-base hits, total bases (243), and runs scored (86) and is second in average, slugging pct. (.559) and OPS (.953). This week, he was also named to MLB Pipeline’s 2021 Prospect Team of the Year (First Team) said the Sod Poodles.
While with Amarillo, Thomas was selected for a second-consecutive time to the National League roster for and participated in the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, which was played at Coors Field in Denver in July during All-Star week.
Nelson, 23, combined to go 7-4 with a 3.17 ERA (41 ER in 116.1 IP), 163 strikeouts, 1.09 WHIP, and a .206 opponent average in 22 starts with High-A Hillsboro and Double-A Amarillo. Throughout the regular season, the D-backs No. 5 rated prospect (MLB.com) led the organization and is tied for fourth in the minors in strikeouts. In Double-A with the Soddies, the former Oregon Duck struck out 10+ batters twice at HODGETOWN (three times total in 2021) including a career-high 12 on Aug. 12 against Corpus Christi.