Happy Birthday–November 14

Harry Howell (1876)
Jim Piersall (1929)
Jim Brewer (1937)
Willie Hernandez (1954)
Curt Schilling (1966)
Kent Bottenfield (1968)
Ruben Rivera (1973)
Xavier Nady (1978)
Clete Thomas (1983)

Outfielder Michael Clete Thomas played for the Twins in 2012 and 2013.  He was born in Jacksonville, Florida, went to high school in Lynn Haven Florida, attended Auburn University, and was drafted by Detroit in the fifth round in 2005.  His minor league numbers aren't awful, but there's nothing at all impressive about them, either.  In 2007, he hit .280 with a .764 OPS in the Eastern League, and on the strength of that he found himself on the Detroit Tigers' opening day roster in 2008.  He actually played pretty well, batting .295 in late April when he sent down.  He came back in late May and stayed with the Tigers until the all-star break, when despite the fact that he was still hitting .284 he was sent down again.  That was as good as it would ever get for Clete Thomas with the Tigers, though.  He was back with them for most of 2009 and played in over a hundred games, but hit only .240.  He was hurt for most of 2010, played in AAA and didn't do much in 2011.  He started 2012 in Detroit, but appeared in only three games before being placed on waivers in mid-April.  Minnesota chose him and immediately made him their starting right fielder, a decision they stuck with for all of seven games.  Thomas was in Rochester by early May and stayed there the rest of the season.  He batted .232 there with an OPS of .686.  He began 2013 in Rochester and did very well, leading to a promotion to the majors in early June.  He started over half the Twins' games the rest of the way, most of them in center field, and was--not good. He drew a good number of walks and was a decent defensive player, but that's about all he had going for him.  In 104 games as a Twin, he hit .214/.290/.307 in 351 at-bats.  A free agent after the 2013 season, he signed with Philadelphia, didn't do much in AAA, and was released in mid-August.  In the old days, when teams carried more position players on the bench, he might've had a shot as a fifth outfielder/pinch-runner.  In the days in which we live, however, there was no place for him.  At last report, Clete Thomas was a commercial producer at Adcock-Adcock Insurance Agency in Tampa, Florida.

Leave a Reply