Mets prospect Rhylan Thomas has a unique skillset to build on

Cyclone Rhylan Thomas at the plate. Jersey Shore Blue Claws fall to Brooklyn 5-3 in day game on
Cyclone Rhylan Thomas at the plate. Jersey Shore Blue Claws fall to Brooklyn 5-3 in day game on / Peter Ackerman / USA TODAY NETWORK

Rhylan Thomas came to the New York Mets organization in 2022 as an 11th round draft pick. A successful 2023 season flew under the radar as the 23-year-old lefty did something pretty unique.

Thomas spent time with St. Lucie, Brooklyn, and Binghamton in 2023. He’d receive a total of 346 plate appearances and slash .328/.407/.425. Why aren’t we talking about him more?

Maybe the most universal way to describe Thomas is as an old-school player. Case in point: Thomas walked 40 times and had only 28 strikeouts. An incredible contact bat, he has a special skill to build on.

Mets prospect Rhylan Thomas has a unique base to his skillset

Hitting this lightly doesn’t usually translate to a major league career. There’s a lot of Jake Mangum in his performance. You may recall Mangum as one of the Mets prospects prior to 2023 who was doing something similar. He ended up traded to the Miami Marlins in the now all-but-forgotten deal for Elieser Hernandez and Jeff Brigham. How soon they became irrelevant.

Listed at 5’10 and 170 pounds, Thomas is built exactly how his statistics look. Together with some good defensive metrics thus far in the minor leagues, the ceiling seems to have him as an Endy Chavez type of player with the floor being more similar to Jason Tyner.

Tyner was a Mets prospect from the late 1990s who hit .300+ from 1998-2000 on the farm. A far more gifted base stealer who swiped 49 bags in 1999, he also put the bat on the ball at an incredible rate. Tyner was much more of a slap hitter. He never had a year as a professional player with more than one home run. His lone big league dinger came with the Minnesota Twins in 2007.

Guys like Thomas don’t tend to have illustrious big league careers. Power isn’t everything but it is an important factor and without it, the road ahead for a guy to make the majors is difficult.

As a fifth outfielder, maybe with the thought of being an outfield version of Luis Guillorme, perhaps there is room for Thomas in the future. Now ranked as the 30th prospect in the Mets system according to MLB Pipeline, the unique knack for avoiding strikeouts in a time where it’s acceptable to whiff lots is noteworthy. Building on this impressive feat can have Thomas in line to have a long yet limited MLB career.