Eric Thames initial stint in the big leagues did not go according to plan. After debuting for the Blue Jays in 2011 Thames was found himself jobless only a few seasons later and decided to go the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) to play for the NC Dinos. Leaving America a “4A” player, someone good enough to play in the minors but not the bigs full, Thames returned a God.
The Bellermaine HS product had always been able to square up a fastball, but struggled with the advanced off speed which makes the big leagues, the big leagues. Being open-minded Thames knew that he could not get the needed at bats to improve by being buried on the bench or going back to the bus leagues which would not challenge him the way he needed.
The Asian Pacific leagues are known for their nasty off-speed pitches the way MLB pitches are known for throwing cheddar. It’s what they specialize in and its exactly what Thames needed patch the holes in his game.
In three seasons in Changwon, home of the Dinos Thames hit .349 with 124 homers in 338 games, with his video game numbers earning him the MVP in 2015.
His 3 season stint eventually earned him a second life in the majors. The Brewers being a small market team saw the potential to add an impact bat at a discount (3 year, 16 million) based on how the old Thames played.
So far the man who was nicknamed “God” in Korea has been money well spent with him showing improved pitch selection, ability to hit lefties and still catch up to a major league fastball.
He is leading the league in HR’s, homered in 5 straight games already this season and still boasts a ridiculous comic-book superheroesque physic with forearms the size of my thigh.
Thames so far has been one of the most interesting storylines this young season and is certainly worth keeping tabs on.