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For Washington Nationals’ Lane Thomas consistent at-bats made a big difference

Lane Thomas put up a tough .104/.259/.125 line over 32 video games (simply 10 begins) and 58 plate appearances with the St. Louis Cardinals between April eleventh and June twentieth, then he received a chance to get common at-bats at Triple-A within the Playing cards’ system in July earlier than a deadline deal introduced the 26-year-old outfielder to the Washington Nationals’ group.

Thomas performed three video games with Triple-A Rochester, the Nats’ prime minor league affiliate, then the Nationals known as him as much as the majors.

“[Thomas] sprays the ball round, hits the ball to right-center, left-center,” Davey Martinez mentioned when requested what the scouting stories instructed him concerning the 2014 fifth Spherical choose by the Toronto Blue Jays who was traded to St. Louis in return for worldwide bonus slot cash three years later, earlier than the Nationals acquired him from the Cardinals straight up for lefty Jon Lester this previous July thirtieth.

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“Strikes the baseball,” Martinez continued, “… he can play left subject, heart subject, proper subject, simply a good all-around participant. He’s received some velocity, however we like the best way he swings the bat. He was doing nicely in Triple-A, he came to visit he was doing nicely down there, so we’re going to present him a chance to play.”

Thomas put up a .304/.407/.457 line, 5 doubles, a triple, and eight walks in 14 video games and 54 PAs between August 15-31, and he instructed reporters that getting consistent at-bats at Triple-A previous to the commerce made a big difference.

“After I was with the Cardinals I used to be solely taking a couple of at bats a week, after which received the chance to go play in Triple-A and sort of get my toes again underneath me,” he mentioned.

“So earlier than I got here right here I used to be enjoying each day after which received to play in Rochester earlier than I received activated, so I believe it’s simply getting the consistent at bats each day has helped out.

“Let’s simply hope it retains going that approach.”

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With incumbent heart fielder Victor Robles optioned to Rochester at first of the ultimate month of the season, Thomas received loads of at-bats down the stretch in September, and it continued to go nicely for the outfielder, who completed the season with a .266/.354/.516, nine-double, seven-home run run over his ultimate 30 video games and 147 PAs.

“I suppose that’s sort of a loopy little flip of occasions,” Thomas mentioned of the inconsistent at-bats in St. Louis, the transfer to the Cardinals’ Triple-A affiliate, the commerce to the Nationals, and the sturdy run he went on with Washington to finish the 12 months, “however on the finish of the day I believe I all the time knew I might play, it’s simply getting the chance and working with it.”

“He’s executed very well,” Martinez mentioned in mid-September. “I like him a lot. He’s not afraid — he takes pitches — he’s not afraid to hit with two strikes, so he takes pitches, so he works good counts and places the ball in play. He hits the ball arduous, and also you see the outcomes that he’s having, so he’s been a pleasure to look at. His protection has been fairly good as nicely, so he’s getting a probability to play each day and he’s taking each alternative to do the very best he can.”

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GM Mike Rizzo too was pleased with the return the Nats received from the Playing cards, telling reporters over the ultimate weekend of the common season that Thomas had executed nicely down the stretch.

“Lane has been terrific for us,” Rizzo mentioned. “His talent set was as marketed by our scouts once they scouted him.

“He’s received good pitch recognition on the plate. He’s received a good quick swing. He places the bat on the ball. He’s received shocking energy. He’s received a good arm within the outfield. He runs nicely.

“And he’s a good outfielder, in order that’s a good talent set for any ballclub.”

Rizzo didn’t chunk when a reporter requested what Thomas’s success, and Robles’s struggles and demotion late within the 12 months, meant for the middle subject job going ahead.

“Victor is a terrific participant with a nice talent set himself, he’s a younger participant that we really feel his greatest days are forward of us,” Rizzo mentioned, “…and what does Lane Thomas’s success imply for Robles? It’s simply one other good participant on the roster.”

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