WASHINGTON, Pa. (March 1) – Today the Washington Wild Things announced a roster move, as the team has signed 2017 Winthrop graduate and catcher Babe Thomas. In a corresponding move, the Wild Things have placed catcher Carson Waln on the suspended list.
Thomas played four NCAA seasons at Winthrop University prior to graduating from the school in 2017. Over the course of four years with the Eagles, Thomas, a catcher, slashed .267/.384/.385 with 20 career home runs and 131 career runs batted in. His best season came when he was a senior, when he hit .287 with a .386 on-base percentage and .488 slugging percentage in 58 games. His 21 extra-base hits were his highest total for a single season, and those included 10 home runs and a career-best 46 RBI.
“We have been following Babe’s journey since last summer. His family has strong ties to the Wheeling area and his father actually played collegiately at West Liberty in the late 80’s,” said assistant general manager Tony Buccilli. “Being the son of a successful coach, Babe carries strong baseball IQ and a great feel for the game. Babe was quite disruptive offensively in his senior season at Winthrop and we look forward to seeing how his style of play will translate professionally.”
It’s the first professional contract for the South Carolina native, and he is excited for the opportunity.
“[It’s] mind-blowing. It just shows if you put in hard work day in and day out that anything is possible,” said Thomas. “Winthrop helped me become a great ball player and [gain valuable] discipline. I’m excited to come and help an already-successful team.”
In terms of a description of himself on the field, Thomas said he plays hard and “with a chip on his shoulder.”
In a corresponding move, catcher Carson Waln has been placed on the suspended list. The team had signed Waln earlier this offseason.
““Carson made us aware of some changes to his situation, which ultimately makes him unavailable to play in 2018,” said Buccilli. “We wish him nothing but the best in his life path away from the game.”