NPB: Former MLB OF Cody Thomas Signs With Orix Buffaloes

Cody Thomas of the Oakland Athletics bats against the Washington Nationals at Nationals Park on August 13, 2023 in Washington, DC. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)

By Matthew Tallarini
World Baseball Network

Former major league outfielder Cody Thomas signed with the Orix Buffaloes for the 2024 Nippon Professional Baseball regular season, the team announced on January 9. 

Thomas, 29, was born in Colleyville, Texas, and has played two seasons in Major League Baseball with the Oakland Athletics in 2022 and 2023. 

Thomas was drafted in the 13th round of the 2016 MLB June Amateur Draft and signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 21, 2016, after his sophomore season at the University of Oklahoma. 

Thomas played in seven seasons in the minor leagues before he made his MLB debut on Sept. 1, 2022. 

Last season, the left-handed hitter played in 19 games with the Athletics, batting .238 in 46 plate appearances with 10 hits, three doubles, one home run, two RBI, four walks, and 17 strikeouts. The Athletics selected Thomas’s contract on July 7, 2023, and the organization optioned him back to Triple-A Las Vegas on Aug. 14. Oakland sent Thomas outright to Las Vegas on August 30 to finish in Triple-A for the remainder of the 2023 season. 

Thomas played in 107 games with Triple-A Las Vegas and batted .301 in 477 plate appearances, smacking 129 hits, 27 doubles, eight triples, 23 home runs, 109 RBI, 37 walks, 97 strikeouts, and a .922 OPS. 

In his eight seasons in the minor leagues, Thomas played in 619 games with 2,650 plate appearances hitting .265 with 637 hits, 131 doubles, 33 triples, 123 home runs, 449 RBI, 31 stolen bases, 225 walks, 736 strikeouts, and a .841 OPS. 

During his two seasons in MLB, Thomas has played in 29 games, batting .250 with 18 hits, three doubles, one home run, two RBI, six walks, 29 strikeouts, and a .641 OPS. 

Before Thomas pursued baseball career, he played football at the University of Oklahoma for two seasons, appearing in 10 games from 2014 and 2015. Thomas quit playing football in January 2016 to focus on his baseball career. 

All 12 NPB teams will report to training during the middle of January prior to the start of the 2024 regular season. The 2023 Pacific League champion Orix Buffaloes will open the 2024 season on March 29 against the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks at the Fukuoka PayPay Dome in Fukuoka Japan.

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