Michael Clete Thomas, born in Jacksonville, Florida, has been a big surprise for Detroit Tigers fans thus far. The rookie was called up from AA Erie due to the injury to center fielder Curtis Granderson. In his first major league at bat, he hit a double against the Kansas City Royals.
Clete Thomas was a top prospect coming out of high school, but elected to play college ball at Auburn University instead of turning pro. He was drafted in the sixth round (180th overall) by the Detroit Tigers in 2005 and has been a quiet rising star since.
Thomas put up consistently solid numbers each season as he went from single A to AA and now into the majors with Detroit. Last season in AA Erie, Thomas hit .280 with just eight home runs, but had an on base percentage of .359. Thomas struck out 110 times last season with the Erie SeaWolves, but still managed to get 148 hits, 30 of which were doubles, and six triples.
He has already proven in the big leagues that he has good speed, as he got his first career stolen base against the Kansas City Royals. So far in his rookie campaign, Clete has hit .450 in 20 at bats.
Granderson is soon expected to return from his broken hand, leaving many to wonder what the Tigers will do with Clete Thomas. Originally they were expected to send Clete back down to the minors, but it is looking like he will stay a little longer, leaving everyone to wonder who will be sent down to the minors.