Oakland A's prospect Casey Thomas, who was participating in the team's Extended Spring Training program, passed away at the age of 24 in Phoenix. Thomas was the A's 34th round pick last season and was the son of longtime A's scout Tom Thomas.
Casey teamed with Josh Vidales up-the-middle for the Arizona Rookie League A's last season to give that team one of the top defensive middle infields in the league. Thomas, a shortstop, appeared in 37 games for the AZL A's and hit .258 with a .300 OBP. After playing at GateWay Community College in Phoenix, Thomas spent two seasons at Texas A&M - Corpus Christi, where he hit .322 his senior season. He was one of two Islanders selected in the 2016 draft. Thomas turned 24 in March.
“We were devastated to hear of this tragedy within the A’s family,” said Billy Beane, the A’s executive vice president of baseball operations said in a statement issued by the organization. “Our hearts go out to Tom and his family on their loss; Casey was a wonderful young man and teammate, and will be missed by all in the A’s organization.”
Some of Casey's teammates took to social media to share their sorrow at his loss.
Thomas' death comes a year after A's prospect Sean Murphy passed away unexpectedly in the Phoenix area at the age of 27 and six months after the passing of A's minor league video coordinator Mark Smith. In 2015, A's prospect Mike Nolan was shot and killed in his native Yonkers. The A's organization has also lost former stars and coaches Tony Phillips, Dave Henderson and Bob Welch in recent years.
OaklandClubhouse extends its deepest sympathies to the Thomas family, his friends and his teammates and coaches on their heartbreaking loss.