It’s always a risk to bring someone from overseas to the MLB. Some thrive others not so much. From Yu Darvish to Daisuke Matsuzaka to Yasiel Puig you never know what the hell you are going to get.
This offseason, the Milwaukee Brewers took a chance on a not so typical foreign player and it looks like it is paying off. Eric Thames signed with the Brew Crew this offseason for 3 years and $15 million. So far, the 30 year old is making it look like the Brewers are professional treasure hunters. In 11 games this season, Thames is hitting .368 with 6 bombs ( five in four games) and 11 RBIs while playing an error free left field and first base. With Thames’ hot start the question has become how come no other team hopped on the hype train?
Thames has played in the big leagues before. Thames spent time with the Blue Jays and Mariners, showing some pop but nothing special. He was then traded to the Orioles, waived, picked up by the Astros, then waived again. After his rough ride in the show Thames deciding he was going to fly across the country to become Kim Jong-Un’s neighbor. He decided to play in the KBO (Korean Baseball Organization) for the NC Dinos. To say he performed would be an understatement. in three seasons Thames hit 124 home runs, swiped 64 bags, and even topped his average out at .381 in 2015.
No one expected Thames to start off with the same kind of pop he had in Korea. Usually those number decline. Byung Ho Park for example spent last year with the Twins hitting .191 after hitting over .340 in the KBO the year before he signed.
It’s hard not to root for Thames after what he has gone through and to be honest, I hope he wins MVP just to shove it in the face of every team that skipped out on him. Obviously that’s a long shot and just because of hot start no one is going to be chanting MVP in Miller Park anytime soon. In September? Maybe. However this season ends up for Thames it’s great to see him back in the league and its a great story of how a man never gave up on his dream of being an MLB star.