Matthew Kevin Thaiss (THICE...rhymes with 'ICE')...Originally signed by Angels scout Nick Gorneault...On Twitter: @Matt_Thaiss...Designated as Angels #8 prospect for 2018 & 2019 by Baseball America...Named as Angels #2 prospect for 2017 season by Baseball America...2016 marked first professional season after first-round selection (16th overall) in June Amateur Draft...Second New Jersey native to be selected in first round by Angels, joining OF Mike Trout (25th overall in 2009)...Played collegiately for the University of Virginia where he helped lead Cavaliers to College World Series Finals in both 2014 and 2015, including first national championship in school history in 2015...Named 2016 Second Team All-American by Baseball America, his second straight season with All-American honors...Semi-finalist for Dick Howser Trophy (College Baseball Player of the Year) and Johnny Bench Award (top collegiate catcher)...In 2013, selected by Boston in the 32nd round (did not sign) out of Jackson Memorial High School (Jackson Township, NJ) where he was twice named First-Team All-State... Batted .343 with 17 homers and 70 RBI in high school career...Named First-Team All-Shore Conference three times...Named to High Honor Roll all four years.
Spent majority of season with Triple-A Salt Lake where he paced the Club in doubles, runs and walks and ranked second in hits and RBI (T2nd)...Defensively, played a majority of games at catcher...Marked first appearances as a catcher since college...Was drafted as a catcher from the University of Virginia...27 stolen bases were the fewest allowed by a backstop in Triple-A West (min. 50 G caught)...Saw action during three games in two stints with the Angels, going 1-for-7...Following Spring Training, was assigned to the Club’s Alternate Training Site in Tempe, Ariz.
Spent time with both the Angels and at the Club’s Alternate Training Site in Long Beach, CA...In eight big league games, saw action at five different positions: first base (2 G), second base (1 G), third base (1 G), left field (1 G) and DH (2 G)...Started game Sept. 8 at Texas at second base...Marked first game at any professional level at second base... The following day, saw first big league action in the outfield, starting the contest in left field...Was also first contest at any level (Major or minors) in the outfield.
Started season with Triple-A Salt Lake...Played 79 games with Bees before being promoted to Angels for remainder of season...Made Major League debut July 3 at Texas going 1-for-3 with a double and a run... In first month in Majors, batted .240 (12/50) with five home runs, nine runs and 14 RBI... Hit first Major League homer July 14 vs. Seattle...Recorded seven multi-RBI games...Registered two 4-RBI performances: Aug. 18 vs. Chicago (A.L.) and one Sept. 29 vs. Houston...Had first career multi-HR game July 28 vs. Baltimore, which included walk-off homer in 9th inning off Mychal Givens...Also hit two home runs Sept. 29 vs. Houston to become third Angels player with two multi-HR games within first 60 career games (also, Wally Joyner and Mike Napoli)...Between Salt Lake and Angels batted .329 (26/79) with two outs and RISP...Hit .308 (32/104) in month of June for Salt Lake with eight home runs, 21 RBI, 25 walks and a 1.048 OPS...Received Fred Haney Award as Angels outstanding rookie during Spring Training.
In sophomore campaign in Angels system, split campaign between Single-A Inland Empire and Double-A Mobile...Combined to hit .274 (141/514) with 75 runs, 27 doubles, four triples, nine HR and 73 RBI in 133 games...73 RBI marked third-most in Halos system....412 OBP with Mobile established career best ... Played with Scott sdale Scorpions in 2017 Arizona Fall League ... Named as Angels' #2 prospect for 2017 by Baseball America.
2016 marked first professional season after first round selection (16th overall) in June Amateur Draft ... Second New Jersey native to be selected in first round by Angels, joining OF Mike Trout (25th overall in 2009) ... Originally assigned to Rookie-level Orem...Slashed .338/.394/.569 in 15 games before promotion to Single-A Burlington (.276/.351/.427 in 52 games)...Combined to hit .292 (77/264) with 40 runs, 19 doubles, four triples, six home runs and 43 RBI in 67 minor league games in 2016...Walked 26 times and struck out just 32 times in 264 at-bats.