Thomas with the AA West Tenn Diamond Jaxx
January 18, 1984 |
|Bats: Left||Throws: Left|
|September 1, 2008 for the Seattle Mariners|
(through 2012 season)
|Earned run average||6.93|
Justin Joseph Thomas (born January 18, 1984) is an American professional baseball pitcher. He has pitched in MLB for the Seattle Mariners (2008), Pittsburgh Pirates (2010), Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees (2012). Thomas stands at 6'3" and weighs 215 pounds. He throws and bats left-handed.
Amateur career 
High school 
Thomas attended Clay High School and Cardinal Stritch High School in Oregon, Ohio and was a four-year letterman for the varsity baseball team and set the school record for most home runs and tied the school record for most home runs in a season. Thomas was named to the USSSA World Series first-team all-tournament team and was a two-time first-team All-GLL selection. He was also named first-team all-district and was an honorable mention selection as a pitcher and helped lead Clay to a league championship. He was named team MVP and received the James F. O’Brian Award for Best Male Student Athlete. In addition to being a four year letterman in baseball, he lettered in golf and was a three-year letter winner in basketball.
Upon graduation, Thomas attended Youngstown State University from 2002 to 2005. The lefty starter helped the Penguins capture a Horizon League Title in the 2004, pitching the team into the finals and making their first ever appearance in the College World Series. In 2005 he was named First Team All-League and Horizon Pitcher of the Year boasting a 7-5 record with a 3.42 ERA and four complete games. He left Youngstown State ranked second in strikeouts with 250 and is the only pitcher in school history to pitch back-to-back seasons of at least seven wins.
College accolades 
- 2003 Second-team All-Horizon League 5-5 4.87 ERA 80 strikeouts
- 2004 First-team All-Horizon League 7-3 5.11 ERA 4 CG 82 strikeouts
- 2005 First-team All-Horizon League 7-5 3.42 ERA 4 CG 83 strikeouts
- 2005 Horizon League Pitcher of the Year
- Three-time Horizon League pitcher of the week
Professional career 
Seattle Mariners 
Thomas was drafted by the Seattle Mariners as the 113th overall pick of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft. After signing with Seattle in June of that year, Thomas made his professional debut for the Everett AquaSox of the short-season A affiliated Northwest League.
In 2006, Thomas led all Mariners farmhands with 14 wins, finished second with 162 strikeouts and sixth with a 3.73 ERA. He was named the California League Pitcher of the Week in August and MiLB.com's Class-A Advanced Playoff Performer of the Year.
In 2007, Thomas was promoted to Double-A West Tenn Diamond Jaxx, but began the season on the disabled list with a strained left elbow. Upon being activated from the DL, Thomas struggled with control problems, posting a 4-9 record with a 5.51 ERA and a career high 61 walks.
In 2008, Thomas as he reduced his ERA with Double-A West Tenn to 4.32 and increased his strikeouts to walks ratio from 100 strikeouts/61 base on balls in '07 to 106 strikeouts/56 base on balls in '08. He was placed on the disabled list once again with a left hand laceration but came back to work out of the bullpen. Thomas received a mid-season call up to Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers posting a career low 3.71 ERA.
On September 1, 2008 the Seattle Mariners purchased Thomas' contract from Triple-A Tacoma. Thomas made his major league debut that day, taking on the Texas Rangers. In one inning of work, he gave up no runs, no hits, no walks, and struck out Marlon Byrd to end the game. Thomas pitched the rest of September with the Mariners, posting an 0-1 record and a 6.75 ERA.
In 2009, Thomas was re-signed by the Seattle Mariners to a one-year contract and was placed on the 40-man roster.
Pittsburgh Pirates 
In November, Thomas was designated for assignment. He cleared waivers and was out righted to Triple-A.
On June 24, 2010, he was purchased from Triple-A to replace Dana Eveland, who was designated for assignment. On September 11, 2010, he gave up a walk off home run to Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds.
Thomas signed a minor league contract with an invitation to 2011 spring training with the Pirates.
Boston Red Sox 
The Boston Red Sox signed Thomas to a minor league contract on November 22, 2011. On April 4, 2012, the Red Sox selected Thomas' contract, adding him to their major league roster for their regular season opener against the Detroit Tigers the following day. Thomas was optioned April 27 to make room for Rich Hill, who recovered from Tommy John surgery.
New York Yankees 
On May 12, 2012, Thomas was claimed off waivers by the New York Yankees. On September 1, 2012 Thomas was called up from Triple-A when the major league rosters expanded. Thomas was designated for assignment on September 25, 2012.
Oakland Athletics 
- Mariners clear five spots on roster
- "Pirates Call Up Lefty Justin Thomas". WYTV.com. Retrieved 2010-06-25.
- "Yankees claim former Red Sox lefty Thomas". MLB.com.
- "Yankees notebook: Club adds 6 Triple-A call-ups". lohud.com.
- Axisa, Mike (November 21, 2012). "Minor Moves: Athletics, Nationals, Dodgers". MLB Trade Rumors.