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Eric Allyn Thames (/θms/) (born November 10, 1986) is an American professional baseball first baseman and outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers of Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played as an outfielder for the Toronto Blue Jays and Seattle Mariners of MLB and the NC Dinos of the KBO League.

Eric Thames
Eric Thames on August 6, 2012.jpg
Thames with the Seattle Mariners in 2012
Milwaukee Brewers – No. 7
First baseman / Outfielder
Born: (1986-11-10) November 10, 1986 (age 32)
Santa Clara, California
Bats: Left Throws: Right
Professional debut
MLB: May 18, 2011, for the Toronto Blue Jays
KBO: April 1, 2014, for the NC Dinos
MLB statistics
(through September 8, 2019)
Batting average.246
Home runs89
Runs batted in217
KBO statistics
(through 2016 season)
Batting average.349
Home runs124
Runs batted in382
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • KBO All-Star (2015, 2016)
  • KBO MVP (2015)
  • KBO Golden Glove Award (2015, 2016)
  • KBO Home run leader (2016)
  • KBO Batting Champion (2015)
  • KBO OBP leader (2015)
  • KBO SLG leader (2015, 2016)
  • KBO Runs leader (2015)

Thames played college baseball for the Pepperdine Waves, and was chosen by the Blue Jays in the 2008 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut for Toronto in 2011, and was traded to the Mariners in 2012. After spending the 2013 season in Minor League Baseball, he signed with the Dinos for the 2014 season. He won the KBO League Most Valuable Player Award in 2015, and signed with the Brewers before the 2017 season.

Contents

Early life and careerEdit

Thames grew up in the San Jose-Santa Clara area. He attended Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose. As a freshman, he was the junior varsity baseball team's third string shortstop. He became the starting shortstop as a sophomore, and then joined the varsity team in his junior year.[1] He was an All-League player for two years and a team MVP as a senior in 2004.

Thames then attended West Valley Community College after sitting a year at Cabrillo College in 2005. During the 2006 season Thames made the Northern California all-state team, and he also made the first team all conference squad. From there, Thames transferred to Pepperdine University to play for the Pepperdine Waves.[2] The New York Yankees of Major League Baseball selected Thames in the 39th round of the 2007 MLB draft, with the 1,191st overall selection. He returned to Pepperdine for the 2008 season.[3] In 2008, Thames batted .407 with 13 home runs for the Waves, and was named the West Coast Conference's most valuable player. Towards the end of the season, he tore a quadriceps muscle during a game.[4]

Professional careerEdit

Toronto Blue JaysEdit

Due to his quadriceps injury, Thames fell in the 2008 MLB draft. Initially projected to be selected in the first three rounds,[3] the Toronto Blue Jays selected him in the seventh round, with the 219th overall selection.[4] Thames signed with the Blue Jays and had surgery to repair the torn muscle. He began his professional career with the Dunedin Blue Jays of the Class A-Advanced Florida State League in 2009, where he hit .313 with three home runs and 38 runs batted in (RBIs) in 52 games. His playing time was limited by recurring difficulty with the quadriceps injury, and he also played rehab games for the Gulf Coast League Blue Jays of the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League later that year.[3] Thames spent the 2010 season with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Class AA Eastern League.[5] He hit 27 home runs for the Fisher Cats with 104 RBIs.[4] He began the 2011 season with the Las Vegas 51s of the Class AAA Pacific Coast League (PCL). In 32 games for Las Vegas, Thames batted .342 with six home runs and 30 RBIs.[6]

 
Thames with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011

Thames made his MLB debut on May 18, 2011, against the Tampa Bay Rays, recording his first career hit and RBI, driving in second baseman Aaron Hill. Thames also recorded his first career walk and run scored in that game. Thames hit his first career double against the Houston Astros on May 21.[citation needed] On June 3, Thames was optioned to Las Vegas to make room for the return of Adam Lind. On June 23, he was recalled to Toronto.[7] On June 29, Thames hit his first career home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starter Paul Maholm. Thames played 95 games for the Blue Jays in 2011, finishing with a .262 batting average, 12 home runs, and 37 RBIs.[1]

The Blue Jays had Thames and Travis Snider compete for a role on their roster in spring training in 2012.[8] Thames made the Blue Jays Opening Day roster[1] and appeared in 46 games for the Blue Jays, in which he hit .243 with three home runs and 11 RBIs. The Blue Jays then sent Thames to Las Vegas.[9] He batted .330 for Las Vegas after the demotion.[10]

Seattle MarinersEdit

On July 31, 2012, the Blue Jays traded Thames to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Steve Delabar.[11] He batted .220 in 40 games for the Mariners.[12]

Before the 2013 season, the Mariners signed outfielders Raúl Ibañez and Jason Bay.[12] The team optioned Thames to the Tacoma Rainiers of the PCL during spring training.[13] He batted .295 in 57 games for Tacoma. On June 22, the Mariners designated Thames for assignment in order to clear room on the 40-man roster for the return of Franklin Gutiérrez from the 60-day disabled list.[14]

Baltimore Orioles and Houston AstrosEdit

The Mariners traded Thames to the Baltimore Orioles for minor league infielder Ty Kelly on June 30, 2013. Thames was immediately optioned to the Norfolk Tides of the Class AAA International League.[15] He batted .252 with three homers and 13 RBIs for the Tides, and was designated for assignment on September 1.[16]

The Houston Astros claimed Thames off waivers on September 5.[17] He played for the Oklahoma City Redhawks of the PCL the next day. He had two hits (including a home run) in four at-bats as Oklahoma City lost and was eliminated from the playoffs.[18]

NC DinosEdit

After the 2013 season, Thames played in the Venezuelan Winter League, where he was scouted by the NC Dinos of the KBO League. The Astros released Thames so that he could sign with the Dinos.[19][20] He signed a one-year contract for $800,000.[21] In the 2014 season, Thames batted .343 with 37 home runs, 121 RBIs, and an on-base plus slugging of 1.111.[12] During the 2015 season, Thames became the first player in KBO history to hit for the cycle twice in one season.[22] Thames then signed a two-year contract to remain with the Dinos.[21] He batted .381 with 47 home runs and 40 stolen bases in 2015,[12] becoming the first KBO player to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in a season.[23] On November 24, 2015, Thames won the KBO League Most Valuable Player Award. He became the third foreign-born player to win the award, joining Tyrone Woods and Danny Rios.[24] Also, Thames won the 2015 KBO Golden Glove Award for first basemen.[25] Thames hit .321 in the 2016 season, adding 40 home runs and 121 RBIs.[12]

Milwaukee BrewersEdit

 
Thames with the Brewers in 2017

On November 29, 2016, Thames signed a three-year, $16 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, with a $7.5 million club option for a fourth year.[26] On April 3, 2017, Thames was the starting first baseman, making his Brewer debut on Opening Day against the Colorado Rockies. He went 1-4, hitting a two-run double in the fifth inning, striking out twice, being walked once, and scoring a run.[27] He set the Brewers club record for home runs in the month of April, with his 11th on April 25, in a 9−1 win versus the Cincinnati Reds.[28]

In April 2018, the Brewers won back to back games against the Cincinnati Reds, with both games being decided by a Thames 2-run home run. In his first 22 games, Thames had 7 home runs, but on April 25, he wound up on the disabled list due to a torn UCL in the thumb on his left hand.[29] Thames returned to the Brewers' active roster on June 11, but due to the surge of fellow first baseman Jesús Aguilar, Thames was primarily used as an outfielder upon his return.[30]

Thames started 2019 as a bench player for the Brewers. [31]

Personal lifeEdit

In April 2016, Changwon city awarded honorary citizenship to Eric Thames.[32]

In February 2017, Thames won the James B. Pirtle Memorial Golf Classic tournament in Palm Springs, Florida, beating actor Dylan McDermott in the final round.[33]

In January 2019, Thames appeared on the Korean television show King of Mask Singer, singing Isn't She Lovely and the K-pop song Americano. Many were impressed by his legitimate vocal talent. [34]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c "Slow and steady wins the race for Jays' Eric Thames". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  2. ^ "Eric Thames bio". Pepperdine University. Retrieved August 12, 2012.
  3. ^ a b c "51s' healthy Thames putting hurt on PCL". April 20, 2011. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c "Fully healthy, Blue Jays prospect Eric Thames off to impressive start this spring". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  5. ^ "New Hampshire Fisher Cats' Eric Thames could turn series". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  6. ^ "Blue Jays' Thames: 'I thought I was done'". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  7. ^ "Bautista moves to third, Thames called up". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  8. ^ "Eric Thames Went from Quad-A Slugger to Korean League Star. What's Next? - VICE Sports". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "404". Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved April 27, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ "New Mariner Eric Thames added power by getting smaller". The Seattle Times. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  11. ^ "Snider, Thames traded for Lincoln, Delabar in separate moves". TSN.ca. July 31, 2012. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Briefly a Mariner, Eric Thames went from Korean God to Brewers first baseman". April 22, 2017. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  13. ^ "MLB News". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  14. ^ Divish, Ryan (June 22, 2013). "Roster move: Franklin Gutierrez activated from 60-day DL, Michael Morse placed on 15-day, Eric Thames DFA'd". The News Tribune. Archived from the original on June 27, 2013. Retrieved June 22, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  15. ^ "Orioles acquire outfielder Eric Thames from Seattle". MASN. June 30, 2013. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
  16. ^ Encina, Eduardo A. "Orioles designate Teagarden, purchase contracts of Snyder, Clevenger". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  17. ^ Takahashi, Julie (September 5, 2013). "Astros Claim Outfielder Eric Thames". SportsRadio610. Retrieved September 5, 2013.
  18. ^ Hill, Benjamin (October 10, 2013). "Crooked Numbers: Zigzagging to end". milb.com. Retrieved October 10, 2013.
  19. ^ Crasnick, Jerry. "A sensation in Korea, can Eric Thames make most of second chance in the majors?". ESPN.com. Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  20. ^ "KBO: NC Dinos Sign Eric Thames". baseball-avenue.com. December 9, 2013. Archived from the original on December 14, 2013. Retrieved December 9, 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  21. ^ a b Kepner, Tyler (April 29, 2017). "For Brewers' Eric Thames, Stint in South Korea Goes a Long Way". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2017.
  22. ^ "(2nd LD) Eric Thames of NC Dinos becomes first KBO player with two cycles in one season". english.yonhapnews.co.kr. August 11, 2015. Retrieved September 30, 2015.
  23. ^ "Eric Thames becomes first with 40-40 in S. Korean baseball; Park Byung-ho sets RBI mark". Yonhap. October 2, 2015. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  24. ^ Lowe, Jeff (November 24, 2015). "Ex-Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames wins MVP in South Korea". Sportsnet. Retrieved November 24, 2015.
  25. ^ "KBO MVP Thames adds Golden Glove to mantelpiece". english.yonhapnews.co.kr. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  26. ^ McCalvy, Adam (November 29, 2016). "Brewers add Thames on three-year deal". MLB.com. Retrieved November 29, 2016.
  27. ^ Armas, Genaro (April 3, 2017). "Rockies win in debuts of Black, Holland, beat Brewers 7-5". Associated Press. Archived from the original on April 6, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  28. ^ McCalvy, Adam (April 25, 2017). "Thames responds to suspicions after hot start: First baseman sets Brewers record with 11th April homer". MLB.com. Retrieved April 26, 2017.
  29. ^ McCalvy, Adam; Falkoff, Robert. "Eric Thames goes on DL with torn UCL in left thumb". MLB. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
  30. ^ Roziak, Todd (June 21, 2018). "Notes: Eric Thames seeing the bulk of his playing time in the outfield since returning from DL". JSonline.com. Retrieved July 17, 2018.
  31. ^ Bretl, Paul. "Milwaukee Brewers: Eric Thames' magic has run out". Dairyland Express. Dairyland Express. Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  32. ^ "NC 테임즈, 창원시 명예시민증" (in Korean). Gyungnam Daily. Retrieved April 3, 2016.
  33. ^ "5th Annual James B. Pirtle Memorial Golf Classic - BIG 105.9". Retrieved April 27, 2017.
  34. ^ Chesterton, Eric. "Eric Thames sang on the Masked Singer in Korea- MLB.com". Cut4 by MLB.com. Retrieved January 20, 2019.

External linksEdit