San Diego Padres select Levi Thomas in 2020 MLB Draft

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Troy pitcher Levi Thomas was selected 106th overall by the San diego Padres in this year’s MLB Draft. (Troy Athletics)

TROY, Ala. – Junior Levi Thomas was selected by the San Diego Padres with the 109th pick in the fourth round of the 2020 MLB Draft, Thursday evening. Thomas becomes the sixth Trojan in program history to be selected in the top five rounds of the draft.
 
Thomas finished with a career 2.98 ERA and 185 strikeouts compared to just 53 walks, a ratio of 3.5:1. With a 12-3 record, his .800 win percentage is tied for the 10th-best mark in school history. He held opposing batters to an average of .209 in his 34 appearances as a Trojan.
 
Thomas, a native of Cullman, Ala., burst onto the national scene with an impressive 2020 season, despite making just four starts before the season was abruptly ended due to COVID-19.
 
The Collegiate Baseball All-American posted a miniscule ERA of 0.39, a top-15 mark in the country in 2020. Thomas amassed 42 strikeouts in 23.0 innings – the 10th-most nationally – while holding opposing batters to an average of .117. His WHIP of 0.65 was the 17th-best in the nation this season.
 
Thomas earned back-to-back Sun Belt Pitcher of the week honors to open the season and was also named a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week after beginning the year with seven consecutive strikeouts en route to fanning a career-high 14 batters in five innings on Opening Night.
 
The righty turned more heads when he allowed no runs in 6.0 innings at No. 1 Florida. Thomas didn’t give up a run until his fourth start of the year against Michigan State at the Cox Diamond Invitational, an outing where he still struck out 11 batters in six innings.
 
Thomas joins Brandon Lockridge, Mike Felix, Jorge Soto, Nate Moore and David Bond as the school’s only players selected in the top five rounds of the draft. Felix remains Troy’s highest pick as he was chosen 48th overall – second round – by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006.
 
Quotable
Head coach Mark Smartt
“Levi earned the opportunity to play professionally through his hard work and commitment while here at Troy. From his first day on campus, he worked hard to improve in every way on and off the field. He has incredible makeup which will serve him well during his professional journey. I am confident that Levi will continue to work, grow and improve over the next few years and will make the Padres organization better. He will long be remembered at Troy for his outstanding performances on the mound and his impact in the locker room. We all wish him success as a pro!”
 
Pitching coach Matt Hancock
“I could not be happier or prouder for Levi Thomas. Levi is one of the hardest working players I have ever coached. Even more impressive are the qualities he possesses, as a person, off the field. Those qualities coupled with his talent level allowed him to become one of the top arms in the country this past year. Levi has represented Troy the right in his time here and will continue to do so as he enters his pro career. I look forward to following his success and wish him the best of luck.”