- Full name Eric Allyn Thames
- Born 11/10/1986 in San Jose, CA
- Profile Ht.: 5'11" / Wt.: 235 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Pepperdine
- Debut 05/18/2011
Drafted in the 7th round (219th overall) by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008 (signed for $150,000).
View Draft ReportA lefthanded hitter and thrower, Thames' outstanding 2008 season at Pepperdine has drawn substantial attention from scouts. He was hitting .407 with 13 homers and 59 RBIs when he went down in late May with what scouts described as a hip flexor injury, though Pepperdine describes it as an upper-leg injury. An unsigned 39th-round pick of the Yankees in 2007, Thames has improved his stock considerably, improving his body over the years. He's now a solidly built, muscular 6-foot, 205-pounder who physically resembles former White Sox outfielder Warren Newson. Thames' primary tool is his bat, as he's strong enough to hit effectively from an open, spread stance. Occasionally, Thames will drift into a habit of trying to lift, pull and jerk everything. He often over swings and whiffs on offspeed stuff, and is much more effective when he cuts down on his swing and attempts to use the entire field. In the outfield, Thames is an acceptable, average defensive left fielder, with acceptable speed and range. He has played some center field but profiles better defensively in left. His inconsistent and fringy arm strength also fits better in left. As a pro, Thames profiles as a potentially heavy-hitting left fielder with average to slightly below-average non-hitting tools.
Organization Prospect Rankings
Thames started to soar up draft boards as a redshirt junior at Pepperdine in 2008 when he batted .407 with 13 homers, but he tore a quadriceps muscle late in the spring. The injury allowed the Blue Jays to get him in the seventh round, but it also meant they had to wait two years to really see what they had in him. Surgery delayed his pro debut until 2009, and he played in just 52 games while dealing with more quad problems. Thames headed into last offseason knowing he needed to find a way to stay healthy. He dialed back on weightlifting and started doing yoga to add flexibility. His efforts came to fruition in 2010, as he played in 130 games, led Toronto farmhands with 104 RBIs and showed the best lefthanded power in the system. Thames has excellent bat speed and plus power. He can get too aggressive, chase pitches and pile up strikeouts, but he also draws his share of walks. With average speed and arm strength, he has the tools to be an average defender in left field, but his defense still needs polish. Thames could put up huge numbers in 2011 at the hitter's haven that is Triple-A Las Vegas, and he could find himself in Toronto late in the season.
Thames' draft stock skyrocketed when he hit .407 with 13 homers during his redshirt junior season at Pepperdine in 2008. But he tore a quadriceps muscle in his right leg shortly before the draft, causing him to fall to the Blue Jays in the seventh round. After signing for $150,000, he had surgery to repair his quad and didn't make his pro debut in 2009. He pounded high Class A pitching, but missed all of July and a couple of weeks in August when his quad flared up on him again. Thames has a rock-solid build and is very strong. He has plus bat speed, a sound stroke and solid plate discipline. When he's healthy and not holding back, he shows average speed. His arm is average as well, and he fits best defensively in left field. Assuming Thames is healthy in spring training, he could get a crack at making the Double-A roster.
Minor League Top Prospects
Las Vegas first baseman David Cooper led the PCL in batting (.364), hits (170), doubles (51) and on-base percentage (.439), but scouts preferred teammate Thames as a prospect. They believe Thames' power will play better in the major leagues, and he did hit 12 homers in little more than half a season with Toronto. He took Dan Haren deep twice and also victimized Cliff Lee. Thames is dangerous with the bat because of his strength and all-fields approach. He can drive the ball to all parts of the park and has extremely good bat speed. An aggressive hitter who piles up strikeouts because he chases too many pitches, he may not hit for a high average. Thames has fringy speed and arm strength, so he fits best in left field. He's an adequate defender.