Baseball Hello: Ako Thomas

Submitted by Raoul on November 15th, 2013 at 8:57 PM

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:

*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.



November 15th, 2013 at 9:55 PM ^

But those kids want to go south.. Or west.

Generally speaking .. Lsu.. USC, Clemson, Texas , Vandy, UCLA, Georgia Tech sell themselves..

It's frustrating..( I grew up in Michigan.. Played in Alabama - my collegiate career) As I see the trend in Football too. The last 10 years I have covered the country in baseball. Just see a lot of the similarities in Football.. Especially in the SEC.


November 15th, 2013 at 9:42 PM ^

Baseball America recently called Bakich's first class (2013) Michigan's best since 2005 (the class that included Zach Putnam). Collegiate Baseball magazine ranked the 2013 class #20 in the country. The 2014 and 2015 classes are also shaping up to be very good. Michigan should be back at the top of the Big Ten before too long. Beyond that, who knows?


November 16th, 2013 at 7:59 AM ^

This is posted more as a general review for those curious about Bakich's first class rather than a reply to anyone, but here is MGoBlue's writeup on the 2013-14 class from the end of July (LINK). Included are some brief summaries of their high school stats and various honors. Four of the 13 players are signees in the MLB first-year players draft. 




March 20th, 2015 at 5:05 PM ^

The Top 20 was released earlier this week, but what other teams have impressed? Teams to watch include Soquel and Tamalpais who are off to undefeated starts. 

Carrillo lost its season opener to Vintage (10-3), but don't discount the Pumas in the North Bay League. They have wins over Marin Catholic and Napa before a key league contest against Casa Grande on March 26. Carrillo will also play in the Boras Baseball Classic starting on March 31 against Granite Bay.

Head-Royce is the three-time North Coast Section Division V champions and return two-way standout Nico Hoerner (Stanford). He is 7-for-15 at the plate and has two no-decisions against St. Mary's-Berkeley and St. Joseph. Hoerner has given up two runs with eight strikeouts over six innings. The Jayhawks have losses to undefeated St. Mary's and Branson. 

Soquel (9-0) has outscored its opponents 55-17 and has received good two-way production from Michigan signee Troy Miller. He is 11-for-31 with four home runs and 13 RBI with a 2-0 record and a 0.91 ERA. He has allowed 17 baserunners to 23 strikeouts in 23 innings. Fellow senior Fineas Del Bonta-Smith is 10-for-30 with seven RBI and is also 3-0 as a pitcher. Sophomore Victor Vogt is 2-0.