School: University of Virginia; Class: Junior
Position: C; B/T: L/R
Height: 6-0; Weight: 195
Previously Drafted: Boston Red Sox, 32nd round, 2013
Background: After a quiet, albeit moderately productive freshman season with the Cavaliers of Virginia, the lefty-swinging backstop had a coming out party of sorts during 2015. In 67 games for the collegiate powerhouse, Thaiss slugged a robust .323/.413/.512 with 18 doubles, 10 homeruns, and four stolen bases (in four attempts).
And then the bottom fell out.
Making his first – and only – trip through the prestigious Cape Cod Summer League, the 6-foot, 195-pound backstop laid an absolute goose egg – basically becoming one of the least productive bats. In 17 games with the Hyannis Harbor Hawks, Thaiss batted .149/.197/.254 while stringing together an abysmal 18-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio (a drastic difference between the 26-to-33 mark he finished with in school).
Anyway, Thaiss, for whatever reason, was able to right the ship during a wildly successful – and dominant – junior campaign with the UV, slugging an impressive .378/.474/.584 with 12 doubles, a pair of triples, nine homeruns, and a jaw-dropping 11-to-34 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
For his career, he’s sporting a .337/.425/.518 triple-slash line with 35 doubles, two triples, and 19 homeruns in 147 games.
Projection: So. Context.
- Between 2011 and 2015, no Division I catcher with at least 250 plate appearances posted a walk rate north of 13% and a strikeout rate below 5%.
Let’s take it another step, shall we?
- Between 2011 and 2015, no Division I position player with at least 250 plate appearances posted a walk rate north of 13% and a strikeout rate below 5%.
Tremendous, tremendous eye at the plate – regardless of his struggles in the Cape last summer. He has the chance to develop into a perennial 15-homerun threat. If he proves to be adequate behind the plate, Thaiss could be a 3.0- to 3.5-win player.
Ceiling: 3.0-win player
Floor: 1.5-win player
Risk: Moderate to High
Grade: First Round