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The Season That Was: Eric Thames

Eric Thames had a terrific 2010 season, hitting .288/.370/.526 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI in New Hampshire. He stared this season in Las Vegas, played there until the middle of May, got called up to Toronto, played 13 games, hitting .286/.362/.381 before he was sent down again, because it was more fun to watch Corey Patterson in LF. About 3 weeks later Eric was called up to stay.

In 54 games with the 51's, Eric hit .352/.423/.610 with 7 home run and 45 RBI.

With the Jays:

2011 - Eric Thames 95 362 58 95 24 5 12 37 23 88 2 1 .262 .313 .456

Fangraphs has him at a 0.9 WAR giving him a value of $3.9 million for the Jays. He had a BABIP of .313. 

He walked 5.8% of the time, we'll all love to see that go up and struck out 22.3%, pretty high, but it was his rookie year. He hit 22.7% line drives, 40.1% ground balls and 37.2% fly balls. He popped out 7.8% of the time.

Like most lefty batters, he hit much better against RHP (.279/.334/.475) than LHP (.209/.242/.395).

He hit better at home (.273/.311/.498) than on the road (.248/.315/.399).

He didn't hit much with RISP, .155/.232/.211.

By month Thames hit:

May: .243/.333.297

June: .370/.370/.741 (6 games)

July: .277/.312/.485

August: .275/.321/.490

September: .211/.283/.368

He slowed up at the end of the season, maybe he tired, maybe it was the little hurts from the long season (among other things, he took a foul ball off his eye) or maybe the league learned something about him. 

His favorite team to face? He hit .500/.500/1.000 in 3 games against the Phillies. Among AL teams, Eric hit .464/.516/.964 in 11 games against the Angels. Least favorite? The White Sox held him to a .091/.200/.136 line in 6 games.

Eric's longest hitting streak was 10 games and hit longest on base streak was 12 games. Twice he went 5 games without a hit.  

His defense? Well, you all saw it. Pretty awful would be the best way to describe it. He only was credited with 2 errors in the outfield, for a .987 fielding average. He played 223 innings in RF, earning a -5.3 UZR/150 there and played 456.1 innings in LF, with a -22.5 UZR/150 there. In total he had a -15.9 UZR/150 in the outfield. He isn't a bad athlete, so I'd think he should be able to improve some, but I don't know that he'll ever improve enough to make us want to see him in the outfield.

I'm torn on the guy, it was a pretty good rookie season. I'd like him to walk a bit more, and a little more power would be nice, but it was his rookie year so there should be room to improve. He didn't hit at all against lefties, it was a pretty small sample size, but we might want to platoon him. I really don't like him batting second. He doesn't get on base enough for that spot. If his defense doesn't improve quite a bit, I'd rather he DH. It will be interesting watching the spring battle between him and Snider, Davis, Loewen and, maybe, Moises Sierra for at bats in LF. Then there is plenty of time for trades to muddy things up even more.