Ian Thomas looked like a relief pitching star in Atlanta’s farm system about a month ago. A left-handed reliever who began the 2012 season with the Revs, Braves.com ranked Thomas the No. 20 prospect in its organization this season.
But he has since switched roles.
The reliever became a starter for the Double-A Mississippi Braves about a month ago. A shutdown reliever with three pitches — including a change-up and curveball — he has earned mixed marks as he adjusts to his new role in the rotation. (Here are the game-by-game stats for Thomas this season.)
Thomas earned his first win as a starter on July 12, allowing two hits in six shutout innings. He struck out eight and didn’t walk a batter. Control has been an issue in his starts, something that wasn’t a concern as a reliever. For instance, of the 29 walks he has issued this season 16 have come during five of his six starts.