It was a quiet Rule 5 draft for everyone, and that went the same for the Atlanta Braves. The Braves had none of their players selected in either the major or minor league portion of the draft, with their only involvement being the selection of New York Mets left handed pitcher Tyler Thomas in the Triple-A rounds.
Thomas began his trek to the professional ranks at Fresno State, pitching three years for the Bulldogs with quite a bit of success. In 2015 he had a terrific Cape Cod League showing with a 1.02 ERA in 44 1⁄3 innings, however his low fastball velocity ended up making him a lower level draft prospect. In 2017 Thomas was a seventh round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs, and he spent barely more than a year in their system. In 2018 he was part of a trade between the Cubs and the Texas Rangers that netted Braves legend Jesse Chavez for Chicago, and there Thomas would spend most of his professional career to date.
Thomas reached Triple-A in 2021 and 2022, but spent little time at both levels and only struck out three batters in eight innings. He was ultimately released at the tail end of 2022, ending his tenure with the Rangers. Thomas briefly played independent ball for the Gastonia Honey of the Atlantic League, impressing the Mets enough to earn a minor league deal in the middle of the year. Thomas would again reach Double-A, but had a 6.75 ERA in 12 innings and had most of his success as a relief pitcher for the Double-A Binghamton Ponies. Thomas had a 0.79 ERA in Double-A with 30 strikeouts to only five walks across 22 2⁄3 innings. This got him a look in the Arizona Fall League, where he was able to strike out 13 batters in 9 2⁄3 innings while putting up a 3.72 ERA.
The Braves may hope to have the same success with Thomas that they did with previous Rule 5 selection Allan Winans. Like Thomas, Winans was a reliever in the Mets system however the Braves moved Winans into the rotation where he blossomed into a player who made six major league starts in 2023. Thomas will also bring a sinker/changeup mix to the table, with his changeup being his best pitch. Thomas tops out at 93 mph and averages around 91 mph, and the Braves could look to increase his changeup usage while decreasing the usage of his fastball and slider. Thomas does have command issues, which the Braves will need to clean up in order to get potential from him.