MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Making it to the MLB has been former Troy pitcher Levi Thomas's biggest goal since he was a small boy, and last week, his dream was realized.
"It's basically just a surreal experience you know," he said.
Thomas was taken in the 4th round by the San Diego Padres, joining five other former Trojans to be drafted in the top five rounds. He was one of the highest picks in program history, which he attributes to his pitching coach, Matt Hancock.
"He kind of changed the game for the pitchers," said Thomas. "His way of coaching is attacking your weaknesses head on, and improving you full circle, and I felt like that helped steer me in the right direction. I made leaps and strides in my capabilities and my abilities to do the things I couldn't do before, and I think it paid off tremendously."
Now that the hard part of being drafted is in the rear-view mirror, Thomas says his focus remains on getting ready for the next level in his baseball career.
"You can make great strides with this downtime, and I plan to do just that," said Thomas. "I want to be the best pitcher I can be, and I want to sharpen my tools in every facet. It's an exciting time."
Thomas says he's excited to get to work, and learn from some of the of the other players in his draft class, like Georgia's Cole Wilcox.
But until he's able to step on the diamond, he says he is just enjoying the moment.
“I mean its something kids dream about when they’re little kids playing ball for the first time. You want to be a big leaguer, you want to see yourself on TV one day, and for my that was no different, and so that was an incredible moment for me and my family because it’s something I’ve worked my whole life for, and to have it all pay off and just that one moment is something I’ll never forget," Thomas said.