The Diamondbacks are promoting outfielder Alec Thomas, a potential candidate for the top 20 MLB

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The Arizona Diamondbacks promoted outside player Alec Thomas to major, the team announced on Sunday. Thomas will make his MLB debut in the D-Backs series final against the Rockies on Sunday, hitting eighth place and playing in center field.

Thomas, who recently celebrated his 22nd birthday, spent the season at Triple-A. In 24 games to date, he has scored .277 / .362 / .495 with four home runs and three stolen bases (in five attempts). He also drew almost as many strokes (13) as he drew (16).

CBS Sports ranked Thomas as the 16th best potential player in juveniles entering the spring:

The Diamondbacks organization has acquired the habit of taking smaller players off the field. Thomas, listed at 5 feet-11, is one of the rewards from that approach. (Injured Corbin Carroll is another.) Thomas is the author of the 2021 Breakthrough Season, hitting .313 / .394 / .559 with 18 home runs, 29 doubles and 12 triples in 106 competitions in Double- and Triple-A. Thomas has a noisy swing, including an extended kick, which helps him generate more power than his size shows (encouragingly, the moving parts didn’t result in a high kick rate). Add his good defense and he should become the starting center of the Diamondbacks as early as this spring.

The Diamondbacks, 14-14 in the season, this season primarily used David Peralta, Daulton Varsh and Pavin Smith in their outdoor field. Reportedly, manager Torey Lovullo will switch Peralta or Smith to the role of striker, with Thomas adding to improve their defense off the field.

D-Backs didn’t get a big production from DH spot this season. Seth Beer and Cooper Hummel have started 24 of Arizona’s 28 games at DH, but none have an OPS + greater than 83.

Thomas isn’t the only prominent exterior in the Diamondbacks system. Corbin Carroll, the team’s pick in the first round of 2019, scored .322 / .456 / .644 with seven home runs and eight stolen balls in 23 games at the Double-A level.

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