We continue the list today with number 80 in our countdown with Xavier junior two-way player Ben Thomas from Columbus Ohio where he attended Westerville Central High School. He played all four seasons of high school ball under Scott Walberry where he was named All-Ohio Capital Conference and First-Team All-District as a senior. Multiple scouting services named Thomas the top high school prospect in Ohio but decided to head to Xavier.
In his freshman season during the 2008 season, Thomas saw limited action as he appeared in 10 games (2 starts) as a hitter accumulating a .250 average in only 12 at-bats. He also spent time on the mound as he appeared in 13 games (2 starts) with a 0-3 record in 26.1 innings of work. He did end up striking out 24 batters while walking 13 in those innings.
Thomas had a breakout season in 2009 as he was second on the Xavier squad with a .338 average hitting 16 homers and driving in 66 runs for the season. His slugging percentage was .667 as he playing in 51 games (47 starts) as he served as the everyday first baseman. He also saw some time on the mound as he went 5-2 with a 7.41 ERA in 12 appearances (11 starts). He was named Second Team All-Conference by the Atlantic 10 for his accomplishments at first base. He spent the summer with the Cincinnati Steam where he hit .319 with 23 RBI in 26 games.
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