Milwaukee Brewers: Trick or Treat Crew edition
The slugging first baseman made a splash in his MLB return. However, after a storybook start to the year, Thames cooled way off. That is where the trick lies. The brilliant start to his Milwaukee Brewers career seemed to disappear very quickly.
In the first month of the season Thames hit 11 homers. For any of the months that followed, he never hit more than six. The season ended with 31 total bombs. That means over a third of his homeruns came right out of the gate.
The long all is not the only way to measure success. Thames hit .345 in April. In the following months, that number never exceeded .300 until September. The closest it got was .284 in June. In two months of the season it was sub .200.
I am no fool. 31 homers is a solid year at the plate. But don’t let that fool you into thinking he performed in clutch situations. He hit .180 with runners in scoring position and only drove two balls out of the park. The bright spot is his .354 OBP, largely due to his 23 walks with ducks on the pond. And only five were intentional.
In addition, the biggest struggle for the left handed slugger proved to be left handed pitching. He hit .182 against southpaws in 99 at bats.
Looking at how things shook out as far as homers in pre and post All Star Break, it shows a clear discrepancy. There were 23 of 31 hit before the break. As far as average, the first and second half numbers were essentially the same thing.
Because of the start to the season where Thames was being called for drug tests, this season could be disguised as a huge success. It was not terrible by any means, but it was not great. Therefore making Eric Thames season a trick.