The Blue Jays added a power-hitting outfielder to their system by taking high school prospect Lane Thomas in the fifth round of the First-Year Player Draft on Friday afternoon.
The 18-year-old recently finished up his senior season at Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tenn., where he hit .376, with 44 doubles, nine triples, 36 home runs, 123 RBIs and 177 runs scored over the course of four seasons.
The Draft concludes on Saturday, with exclusive coverage of Rounds 11-40 beginning on MLB.com at 1 p.m. ET.
Thomas' power has been on the rise as he continues to grow into his 6-foot-1 frame. He hit 17 of those 36 home runs in 2014 and also showed a lot of patience at the plate with 53 walks as a senior.
"This is another guy we really like, a high school outfielder -- he's played some shortstop, and center field -- and this is another kid with great makeup and athleticism and we like the bat," Blue Jays director of amateur scouting Brian Parker said. "It's kind of the common theme with some of these guys. Another great makeup kid we're very excited about."
Thomas spent most of his time in high school playing center field, but the Blue Jays listed him as a right fielder. With his type of power and overall skill set, he's the type of player who would project to become a corner outfielder with an above-average bat.
According to the MLB.com scouting report, Thomas has a quick bat and an advanced approach at the plate. He has above-average speed in the outfield and good instincts on the basepaths, which should translate to an ability to steal bases at the Major League level.
Thomas wasn't ranked in MLB.com's Top 200 prospects prior to the Draft, but he's someone who has been on the big league radar for the past couple of years. He was part of the gold-medal winning USA U18 team at least year's World Cup in Taiwan.
Thomas currently has a commitment to attend Tennessee in the fall. The recommended slot value of his pick at No. 144 is $343,000, and the Blue Jays have a bonus pool of $9,458,500 to work from in the first 10 rounds.
"His first practice as a freshman he already had a level of confidence and maturity most players don't have," Bearden coach Jack Tate told the Knoxville News Sentinel last year.
"[Thomas] is one of the best players I've ever seen in Knoxville. ... He's a sure-fire pro prospect, no question. He has all the tools."