When the Los Angeles Dodgers announced their non-roster invites to 2020 Spring Training, much of the attention understandably went to top prospects Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs. Of course, Downs was eventually included in a trade with the Boston Red Sox.
And through the first handful of Cactus League games, Cody Thomas has stepped into the spotlight. Earlier in the week he hit a towering home run on the first pitch he saw and later robbed the Chicago White Sox of a homer with his leaping catch at the fence in right field.
“He’s an interesting guy,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Football player, quarterback. The body is great, skill set is really good. First pitch he saw, he hits a homer the other way, and makes a great play in right field. Really, really good day for Cody.”
Thomas had another noteworthy performance on Wednesday, hitting a home run in a comeback win over the L.A. Angels. During an interview on SportsNet LA, the 25-year-old explained he’s simply looking to capitalize on what’s in front of him:
“Just trying to make the most of my opportunities out here. At the end of this game we had a bunch of great ABs, a couple walks and then the clutch hit by Luke Raley to get me up there. That was just icing on the cake what I did. … There’s got to be a sense of urgency out here for us. Usually coming off the bench, not getting too many ABs or opportunities. You’re just trying to make the most of every opportunity.”
As for his catch being played on several highlight reels, Thomas acknowledged enjoying seeing that but also downplayed the moment:
“It was pretty cool. I’m just out there trying to do my job, man. Making plays, having fun and play the game I know how, and that’s hard and with great focus every play.”
The Dodgers selected Thomas in the 13th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. He attended the University of Oklahoma, playing football and serving as the backup to Baker Mayfield.
Thomas has hit double-digit home runs in each of his professional seasons, including a career-best 23 last year with Double-A Tulsa. Prior to that, Thomas was among the High-A Rancho Cucamonga players named a California League post-season All-Star in 2018.
Thomas was eligible to be selected in the 2019 Rule 5 Draft, during which time the Dodgers did not lose any Minor League players. He entered play Thursday leading the Dodgers this spring with a 1.333 slugging percentage, two home runs and five RBI.
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