Hello all, I’m back (for now!). Today, I am going to talk about a Twins player who gets very few mentions on the news and other blogs. Back in February, around 60 Twins players came into Spring Training hoping to rejuvenate a team that has lost more than 95 games each of the last two seasons. Of course the Twins have to cut several players to hit the required 25-man roster mark. But in my opinion they cut one player WAY too early and I want him to be on the Twins Major League roster.
His name is Michael Thomas, better known as Clete Thomas. Thomas, born in 1983, grew up in Jacksonville, Florida, dreaming of becoming a pro baseball player. Thomas and his Mosley High School baseball team won the 2002 Florida state championship. After high school, Thomas chose to attend Auburn University where he continued his baseball career. He played right field for Auburn for three years, losing to Florida State in the 2005 NCAA Regional Tournament. In 2005, Thomas was drafted in the sixth round of the Amateur Draft by the Detroit Tigers as an outfielder.
During his three years in Detroit, Thomas registered 8 home runs while driving in 48. Thomas missed the cut to play for the Tigers for two consecutive seasons in 2010-2011, where he played for the Tigers Triple-A Affiliate. One of his career highlights took place in 2009 against the Los Angeles Angels, when Thomas belted his first career grand slam to help the Tigers break a tie.
But in April 2012, the Tigers placed Thomas on waivers where the Twins signed him a few days later. In his first game as a Twin on April 14, Thomas belted a two-run homer against Texas. Unfortunately, Thomas’ stay in the Twin Cities was short when the Twins put him back on waivers three weeks later. No team picked him up so Thomas played the rest of the 2012 season in Rochester. The Twins invited Thomas to Spring Training this year, but four weeks into Spring Training he was sent down once again. In 15 games this spring, Thomas batted .292 with 7 hits and no home runs.
Ultimately, Thomas won’t be a player who woos the crowd, but he should be given the opportunity to play alongside Mauer, Morneau, and Willingham. Remember, Thomas is not the Japanese star who failed in the Major Leagues; he has some experience and just wants to play in the big leagues. Plus with the departures of Denard Span and Ben Revere, the Twins need a proven player to backup rookie center fielder Aaron Hicks and second-year right fielder Darin Mastroianni. So let’s all say it: come on Twins, give Clete a chance!
Written By: Michael L. Sack