CHICAGO - The biggest day of Alek Thomas' life is less than a month away, but the 18-year-old is trying his best to focus on the present.
"Just worrying about playing the game, what's now, not what’s June 4th," Thomas said.
June 4th is the date of the MLB Amateur Draft, and it's been circled on Alek's calendar for two years.
The star outfielder for Mt. Carmel is a projected first round pick.
"That's my dream," Thomas said of being a top draft selection.
He has to weight turning pro against a commitment to play baseball and football at TCU.
The reigning Gatorade Illinois Player of the Year describes himself as a 5-tool player, whose destiny on the diamond started to take shape years ago.
Alek has literally grown up around the game of baseball. When he was four, his dad Allen Thomas was named the White Sox organization’s director of strength and conditioning, a job that opened big league opportunities for Alek from a young age.
"I definitely think it's an advantage to having a dad like that," the younger Thomas said. "My dad just gave me the tools. I had to go out and do it. But, he’s a big part of where I’m at today and I thank him all the time."
"We were molding him from a young age and knew he had athletic genes," Allen Thomas said. "We let him out in the outfield on his own when he was six or seven years old, catching big league pop ups. I knew he was going to be special. No one can replicate the reps he has."
That includes robbing a home run during a White Sox spring training practice as an 8th grader.
"That play - I remember it," Alek said. "I live for moments like that."
Soaking up big league life from Sox legends Frank Thomas, Bo Jackson and Jim Thome was like an AP course in how to succeed at the sport.
So dream come true if the Sox draft him, right?
"To be honest, I hope they don’t," Alek said. "I hope they go for a pitcher. I’m still a fan. I don’t think they need me. It would be neat to go to another team and possibly play against my dad."
“I think Alek’s whole goal is to get to big leagues, he doesn’t care who with,” the elder Thomas said.
Of course both Thomas’s know exactly the date they’ll find out Alek’s future.