Last night the Texas Rangers traded veteran relief pitcher Jesse Chavez to the Chicago Cubs for left-handed pitching prospect Tyler Thomas. Here’s a quick look at the newest member of the Rangers organization.
Tyler Thomas, LHP: The Cubs drafted Thomas in the seventh round in 2017 from Fresno State University. He performed reasonably well as a reliever in the Northwest League last summer (2.33 ERA, 24/13 K/BB in 19 innings) but returned to his college role as a starting pitcher in 2018. He’s continued to perform very well for South Bend in the Low-A Midwest League, posting a 2.88 ERA in 75 innings with an 84/14 K/BB, allowing just 58 hits so far.
Age 22, Thomas is listed at 6-1, 175, rather thin and slightly built. He doesn’t throw especially hard, 87-90 most of the time, but the fastball tends to play up due to the contrast with his best pitch, a plus change-up. His slider is so-so but the fastball/change combination and his ability to command his pitches has kept him ahead of Low-A competition.