|Washington Nationals – No. 28|
|Born: August 23, 1995|
|April 17, 2019, for the St. Louis Cardinals|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2021 season)
|Runs batted in||42|
Lane Michael Thomas (born August 23, 1995) is an American professional baseball outfielder for the Washington Nationals of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals.
Thomas attended Bearden High School in Knoxville, Tennessee. As a sophomore, he committed to play college baseball at the University of Tennessee. In 2014, as a senior, he batted .410 with 17 home runs and 40 RBIs. Following his senior year, he was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in the fifth round of the 2014 Major League Baseball draft.
Thomas signed with the Blue Jays for $750,000, forgoing his college commitment.
Thomas made his professional debut that same year with the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays before being reassigned to the Bluefield Blue Jays. In 52 games between the two clubs, he batted .281 with one home run and 19 RBIs. In 2015, he played for both the Vancouver Canadians and the Lansing Lugnuts, hitting a combined .206 with five home runs and 35 RBIs in 52 total games. He spent 2016 with Lansing where he compiled a .216 batting average with seven home runs, 27 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases in 81 games. He began 2017 with the Dunedin Blue Jays.
On July 2, 2017, Toronto traded Thomas to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for international signing bonus cap space. St. Louis assigned him to the Palm Beach Cardinals, but he played in only nine games due to injury. In 82 total games between Dunedin and Palm Beach, he hit .252 with four home runs and 41 RBIs. Thomas began the 2018 season with the Springfield Cardinals where he was named a Texas League All-Star. He was promoted to the Memphis Redbirds in late July and finished the season there, helping the Redbirds win the 2018 Triple-A National Championship Game. In 132 games between Springfield and Memphis, Thomas slashed .264/.333/.489 with 27 home runs, 88 RBIs, and 17 stolen bases. He was assigned to play for the Surprise Saguaros of the Arizona Fall League after the season.
The Cardinals added Thomas to their 40-man roster after the 2018 season. He returned to Memphis to begin 2019. On April 17, he was recalled to the major leagues for the first time and he made his major league debut that same day at Miller Park against the Milwaukee Brewers. On April 19, against the New York Mets at Busch Stadium, he hit a home run in his first major league at bat. On August 11, Thomas hit his first ever major league grand slam. On August 30, he was placed on the 10-day injured list after being hit in his right wrist. On September 1, he was transferred to the 60-day injured list, effectively ending his season. Over 44 plate appearances with St. Louis, he hit .316 with four home runs.
Thomas began the 2020 season with St. Louis. On August 9, it was announced he had tested positive for COVID-19. He returned to play in October, and ended the season batting .111 with one home run over 18 games. In 2021, Thomas did not make the Opening Day roster.
On July 30, 2021, Thomas was traded to the Washington Nationals in exchange for Jon Lester. Thomas was called up in August 2021 and soon became the Nationals' everyday center fielder, supplanting Victor Robles.
Thomas co-owns Knox Cabinet Co., a home remodeling business, with his sister alongside another co-owner.