Diamondbacks’ Alek Thomas Rookie of the Year Betting Odds

The Arizona Diamondbacks may not have much to be excited about this season, but there is reason to be (cautiously) optimistic about the future. Heading into the 2022 season, MLB.com ranked the D-backs farm system as the fourth-best in the league, with three players in the top 25 of their prospect rankings.

Alek Thomas, who sat at the top of the Diamondbacks’ prospect rankings, has been with the team since May 8. Thomas was called up from the Triple-A affiliate Reno Aces and immediately got the start at centerfield.

At the time of this writing, Thomas has the 11th shortest odds to win the 2022 National League Rookie of the Year award per Caesars Sportsbook. Earlier this week, it was as low as the seventh shortest. Is he worth placing a wager on? And what is his outlook for the rest of the season with Arizona? 

Alek Thomas 2022 NL Rookie of the Year Odds

Player2022 NL Rookie of the Year Odds (Caesars Sportsbook)

Oneil Cruz+350

Michael Harris II+375

Spencer Strider+375

MacKenzie Gore+700

Brendan Donovan+800

Nolan Gorman+900

Juan Yepez+1000

Seiya Suzuki+1600

Christopher Morel+1800

Jack Suwinski+2200

Alek Thomas+3000

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Alek Thomas 2022 Stats

Let’s take a look at where Thomas ranks in a few stats among rookies as well as the Diamondbacks. The stats below are as of June 29. For rookies, I’m only including players who have at least 3.1 plate appearances per game played (per Baseball Reference).

Among NL Rookies:

Wins above replacement (WAR) – 1.4 (2nd)
Batting average – .260 (7th)
Hits: 40 (tied 7th)
Home runs: 6 (tied 5th)
RBIs: 16 (tied 10th)
On-base percentage (OBP): .320 (tied 9th)
Slugging percentage (SLG): .422 (11th)

The only statistic where Thomas really stands out among other NL rookies is WAR, second only to Brendan Donovan of the St. Louis Cardinals. 

Interestingly, Oneil Cruz, who has the shortest odds of winning the award, currently has a lower batting average and on-base percentage than Thomas. Cruz’s .426 slugging percentage barely edges out Thomas’ .422 mark.

Among Diamondbacks:

Wins above replacement (WAR) – 1.4 (2nd)
Batting average – .260 (2nd)
Hits: 40 (6th)
Home runs: 6 (6th)
RBIs: 16 (8th)
On-base percentage (OBP): .320 (2nd)
Slugging percentage (SLG): .422 (4th)

The value Thomas has brought to the Diamondbacks is clear. Arizona as a team has a slash line of .215/.296/.371, all of which Thomas is clearly above. 

Thomas provides a boost defensively, as well. His .993 fielding percentage is above the league’s average of .988 at centerfield. Thomas also ranks first across the NL in both Range Factor per game and Range Factor per game, and Range Factor per nine innings played.

Alek Thomas Rookie of the Year Betting Recommendation

Despite the excitement surrounding Thomas and the Diamondbacks’ farm system, I wouldn’t be placing a bet on the young centerfielder. Although his .260/.320/.422 slash line is solid, particularly for the NL’s seventh-youngest player; it simply isn’t enough to put him into consideration for Rookie of the Year. Over the past five years, the average slash line for those who have won the award is .279/.374/.546. Unless Thomas goes on an absolute tear over the final half of the season, it’s hard to see him nearing those numbers.

Rest of Season Outlook

I think Thomas is here to stay. If the Diamondbacks were going to send him back down to Reno, it probably would have happened when Carson Kelly returned from injury. Out of the 46 games Thomas has been in the majors for, there have only been two he hasn’t seen action in. Daulton Varsho, who had been manning center prior to Thomas’ arrival, has been bumped to right field.

Although Thomas has struggled over his last seven games (.125/.160/.250), the D-Backs are better off letting him work through the slump as the team is staring at another season at the bottom of the NL West.

Photo by Zachary BonDurant/Icon Sportswire