Ben Thomas, a first baseman out of Xavier University, was drafted by the Giants in 2011 in the 34th round. He played for the AZL Giants and the Salem-Keizer Volcanoes in 2011 and finished the season with a .327/.363/.504 line.
What was your reaction to being drafted by the Giants?
Being drafted was always my goal since I was a kid. The fact that the team who had just won the World Series drafted me was icing on the cake. The organization has a great history of winning and loads of great players throughout the past. I was extremely happy I was picked by the Giants.
In college, you were a pitcher and a position player. Do you prefer one over the other?
I most definitely prefer hitting. It’s always come more natural to me. I understand more and there’s nothing better feeling than beating a pitcher who brought his best stuff to the park. Pitching was more of a hobby I was trying to learn and understand. I mainly pitched because out of high school, I was not recruited as a hitter to any schools. I got offered to have a chance to do both at Xavier, and that made my decision that much easier.
What should fans expect from you as a player?
Fans can expect me to be a player who plays every play like its my last. God gave me an opportunity to play professional baseball and I enjoy every minute of it. They can expect me to be a true competitor, and a student of the game. I always enjoy watching and learning as much as possible. I am always looking for a way to get better.
Are there any goals you would like to achieve this season?
I would like to see my power numbers be higher. Another goal would be to better my plate discipline, and take my walks.
What has the adjustment from college to pro ball been like?
There was a learning curve for sure. I was lucky enough to have great coaches in the AZL who were able to pinpoint my biggest flaws and help me correct them quickly and efficiently. Every new level was an adjustment because the pitchers obviously miss their spots less at each new level. All in all, I have loved the transition, its nice not to have to worry about papers and tests and just play and know [that’s] what I get to do tomorrow too.
Is there a city that you’re looking forward to playing in?
Wherever there are the most fans. Clearly San Francisco stands out as the goal, but while in the minors I wouldn’t mind playing in Richmond simply because my family could come see me play more. They weren’t able to make it out west this year and that was difficult for them and myself.
The Giants have a bit of a reputation for having animals associated with players (such as Pablo “Kung Fu Panda” Sandoval and Brandon “Baby Giraffe” Belt). Would you ever like to be associated with one?
Yeah I would love it if I had a cool nick name people knew me by. Even if it was an animal.
High socks: do you prefer this look or not?
Absolutely not. Pants aren’t something you generally pull up. I would much rather leave them down on my cleats. It’s just more comfortable