Continuing to clean up in the Chicago area, Erik Bakich, recruiting coordinator Nick Schnabel, and the entire Michigan staff received more good news tonight, with word of the verbal commitment of Ako Thomas, a 5-8, 150-pound second baseman from Chicago's Mount Carmel High School, class of 2015. Prep Baseball Report had this to say about him in a July 2013 hotlist:
At 5-foot-7, 150 pounds, Thomas may be one of the smallest participants at the Midwest Future Games, but he plays big on the field. He served as Mount Carmel’s starting second baseman on the Caravan’s Class 4A state championship squad, teaming with shortstop Jerry Houston (Oregon recruit) to comprise arguably the best infield in Illinois. Thomas is a hard-nosed player who makes everything look routine. He also has a knack for barreling up baseballs and getting on base.
Here's more from PBR taken from an August rundown following the Midwest Future Games:
It’s not often that a high school second baseman, much less one that is 5-foot-8, stands out. But Thomas proved over the three days that he can flat hit. He seldom swings and misses, and always seems to find the barrel. He led Team Illinois with five hits, including a leadoff double.
PBR also published a feature on Thomas in September—Diminutive Ako Thomas Not Limited by Size—that mentions him planning to visit Michigan in November and also having been in contact with Missouri and Iowa. Perfect Game mentioned Thomas in an item on a September event:
Ako Thomas is also an intriguing prospect. Listed at just 5-feet-8, 150-pounds, he hits cleanup in Gravel’s batting order and has proven time and again he can handle himself well both at the plate and while patrolling second base. Thomas (2015, Chicago) was named the Most Valuable Player at the 15u PG World Series after hitting .455 (10-for-22) with 12 runs scored and five RBI.
“I was just feeling good; that was the best tournament I had that year,” he said Friday. “I knew there was a ring in it for us and I really wanted to win that ring.”
PBR has Thomas ranked #15 in Illinois and #69 overall in the 2015 class. I don't know his current Perfect Game ranking, but in late 2012 he was ranked #150 nationally.
Here are the PBR overall rankings (encompassing their ten-state coverage area) for Michigan's five 2015 commits:
- 8. Charlie Donovan (Hello post)
- 30. Nick Plummer (Hello post)
- 69. Ako Thomas
- 193. Nick Azar (Hello post)
- 217. Andrew David (Hello post*)
*Hello post is Ace's from the front page. David will be on a football scholarship, but he evidently also plans to play baseball at Michigan.