VIPERS ACQUIRE SLUGGER JUAN THOMAS

After the Calgary Vipers placed Greg Morrison on the suspended list Sunday, the expansion team didn’t take long to name a replacement.  The Big Human, Juan Thomas, was acquired by Calgary Sunday for future considerations.  Thomas, who was playing with the Sioux Falls Canaries in Edmonton, will immediately join the Vipers and most likely play his first game on Monday against Fargo-Moorhead. 

The 6’4, 295 pound 1st baseman and designated hitter is no stranger to Calgary and Foothills Stadium.  In 2 seasons with the Tacoma Rainers of the ‘AAA’ Pacific Coast League he played in the same division as the Calgary Cannons.  This year with Sioux Falls, Thomas has been nothing but a “Calgary Killer” hitting .459 against the club with 4 homeruns and 19 RBI.  On May 30th, Thomas hit for the cycle in Calgary, part of a Canaries victory.

This season with Sioux Falls, Thomas is hitting .319 with a team leading 58 RBI and 14 homeruns.  He also sports an impressive .562 slugging percentage and boasts a .376 on base percentage.  In 2004, his first season with the Northern League, Thomas hit .304 in 52 games after coming over from the Mexican ‘AAA’ ranks.  A former 10th round draft pick of the Chicago White Sox, he started his pro career in the Gulf Coast League in 1991.  Starting in 2001, Thomas played in parts of 4 ‘AAA’ seasons including 2 full years with the Rainers and part of a season with Louisville in the International League.

Thomas will fit in nicely with the Vipers as the DH and will most likely bat cleanup in the batting order.