This past Saturday at Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Terps pledge Truman Thomas proved why he is one of the best all-around high school players in Maryland.
Previously, when we had seen Thomas play in Anne Arundel County, he was covering shortstop, making one sensational play after another. And he made each plate appearance positive, hitting line drives all over the field. Definitely one of the better non-pitchers we had seen perform all season.
But Southern Head Coach Frank Hood was about to give the pleasant Saturday crowd a different perspective. Hood decided to place Thomas on the pitcher's mound and allow his arm to take center stage. As a result, Truman struck out 10 hitters on his way to a dominant, 6-1 victory over the Eastern Tech Mavericks and Coach Spike McElfish.
As Thomas strolled to the mound for warm-ups, he had a look of calm and determination across his face. No pre-game hype and emotion, as Thomas was all business once he toed the rubber.
Thomas isn't the hardest thrower we have seen this season, although our gun had him clocked from 87-90 mph, which is nothing to diminish. What had everyone excited was his dissection of Maverick's lineup using his entire arsenal of pitches at any moment in the hitter's count.
Truman used both sides of the plate at knee-level-or-below the entire game. And the pitch did not matter. He was placing his fastball, curve and occasional changeup in places that tied up Eastern Tech's hitters beyond their abilities to adjust.
Add the fact Thomas has no wasted motion, and wastes no time once he receives the ball from the catcher, it leaves the hitters less time to think. He throws with a 3/4 delivery, but went sidearm a few times to keep the Mavericks guessing.
So this leaves the question, what position Thomas will play at the next level? Our impression all spring was shortstop. Now, we will have to wait for the coaching staff to find his best fit for the club. It is a good decision to be faced with at this time. Either way, he will be a welcome addition to the burgeoning Maryland roster and program, which begins NCAA Tournament play Friday against Ole Miss.
Future Terp Thomas Leads Southern High School
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