Mount Carmel baseball sensation Alek Thomas had to wait a little bit, but ultimately he was selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second round of the MLB Draft.
Thomas, who has a full-ride scholarship to TCU, could forego playing for the Horned Frogs and could join the Diamondbacks' system instead after he was taken with the 63rd overall selection in this week's draft.
Thomas was the 67th-ranked prospect in the country, according to MLB Pipeline, and Baseball America ranked him 60th before the draft.
“It’s an exciting time for me and my family,” he told NBC 5 before the draft. “It’s getting down to crunch time right now, and hopefully I just keep my mind right and everything will work itself out.”
If Thomas ends up agreeing to join the Diamondbacks, he may get to come back to the area before too long, as the team's Class A affiliate happens to be the Kane County Cougars.
Thomas was just a freshman when he got the call to join Mount Carmel’s varsity baseball team, and it took him just one play to immediately make a new impression on his coach.
“The batter hit a ball down the left field line, and he absolutely out ran it, got his glove on it, smashed into the fence, and the ball hit off his glove and went over,” coach Brian Hurry said. “All of the coaches were like ‘how did he even get a glove on that ball?’ It was obvious he belonged on the varsity team.”
To Thomas, the play wasn’t a big deal despite the impression it made on his coaches.
“I was supposed to make that play. For me, it was a normal thing, and that’s just how I play,” he said.
The baseball diamond isn’t the only place where Thomas has made a name for himself. He’s also so good at football, playing wide receiver at Mount Carmel, that he’s planning to play football at TCU as well.
“The joke is for the Most Athletic Award for the yearbook, we don’t want to vote for him, because it’s so obvious he’d win unanimously,” classmate Zac Styka said.
Thomas has plenty of experience with the rigors of baseball stardom, as his dad Allen is the White Sox Director of Strength and Conditioning.
“I grew up in the major league clubhouse and I’ve seen guys come through and have always said that I want to be like one of these stars and play on a professional team,” he said.