Monday, July 18, 2011
Where are we on Eric Thames?
As part of my heartfelt desire to remain open-minded, I'm forcing myself to be confused with Eric Thames. What kind of a hitter is he? Can he stick at the big league level? He is the smileyest player since Torii Hunter?
Eric Thames numbers look pretty good, so far. A .948 OPS since his recall with 8 doubles and 4 home runs. The BABIP is still high .375 and the walks are still low with only two versus 18 strikeouts.
Over the weekend he bashed Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon before CC Sabathia made him look rather shameful. CC represents an incredibly tough matchup for the young lefy but then Phil Hughes sat him down three times yesterday.
The Sabathia troubles I get, the struggles against righties that worry me. How are right handed hitters getting him out?
(In case you aren't familiar with these charts, remember they're from the catcher's perspective. Thames is a left-handed batter so he stands on the right side of the image.)
Fastballs up in the zone, sliders and curveballs on his back foot and some change ups over the outside corner. Nothing too unexpected but the holes in his swing are as advertised.
I get a fair amount of flack for not believing in Eric Thames implicitly and, sadly, I can't get 100% behind him yet. Hopefully the team keeps playing him every day so we can all make a more informed decision at the end of the year - good, bad or indifferent.
Pitch F/X from Joe Lefkowitz, Getty Images photo from Daylife.
Labels: Eric Thames