Unless you happened to catch Eric Thames’ blips with the Blue Jays or Mariners between 2011 and 2013, last fall’s news that the Milwaukee Brewers signed the 30-year-old guy from the KBO to a three-year deal (with a team option for a fourth year) was probably a little confusing. Though the season is young, it’s safe to say the transaction was a wise one. Through the first 23 games in the 2017 season, Thames leads all of Major League Baseball in home runs, slugging percentage, and OPS. More over, he’s in the top 10 in all of baseball in batting average and RBI, and in the top five in walks and on base percentage.
The slugging first baseman’s 11 homers in April (with three games left) is a Brewers record for the month. He’s quickly become a household name in Milwaukee and beyond in his second stint in the big leagues, and his astounding numbers are now drawing semi-regular drug tests (which Thames isn’t concerned about, given this week’s “I have a lot of blood and urine” remark). Though his historically huge month is a surprise to Brewers fans, maybe it shouldn’t be.
During his three seasons with the NC Dinos of the Korea Baseball Organization, Thames hit .349 with 124 home runs, 382 RBI, 64 steals, and a level of offensive dominance that earned him the KBO League Most Valuable Player award in 2015. Fortunately, Brewers general manager David Stearns took notice of Thames’ performance overseas, but you probably didn’t. So while we await Thames’ next Brewers homer, let’s watch videos of him hitting over 100 dingers in Korea. Enjoy!