Former Madison Mallard Matt Thaiss made his Major League debut for the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Thaiss is the 223rd former Northwoods League player to reach the Major League level.
Thaiss, who played collegiately at the University of Virginia, played for the Madison Mallards in 2014. He was drafted by the Angels in the 1st round of the 2016 MLB draft.
Thaiss hit .286 in 26 games with the Mallards in 2014. He had three doubles, one home run and drove in 14 runs. He also stole two bases.
Thaiss began his minor league career in 2016 with the Orem Owls of the Rookie level Pioneer League. After 15 games he moved on to the Burlington Bees of the Low-A Midwest League. Between the two clubs he hit .292 with six home runs, 19 doubles and four triples. He drove in 43 runs and stole three bases.
In 2017 Thaiss began the year with the Inland Empire 66ers of the Hi-A California League. After 84 games he was promoted to the Mobile BayBears of the AA Southern League. For the season he hit a combined .274 with nine home runs, 27 doubles and four triples. He had a career-high 73 RBI and stole eight bases while walking 77 times.
Thaiss began the 2018 season in Mobile and then after 40 games was promoted to the Salt Lake Bees of the AAA Pacific Coast League. In 125 games between the two clubs he hit .280 with 16 home runs, 34 doubles and eight triples. He drove in a new career-high 76 runs and stole eight bases.
Prior to being called up by the Angels, Thaiss had played in 79 games in Salt Lake and was hitting .274 with 14 home runs, 17 doubles and two triples. He had driven in 49 runs and scored 63 times.
In his Major League debut against the Texas Rangers, Thaiss started the game at third base and was 1 for 3 with a run scored. His first Major League hit was a double to lead off the third inning.