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Earlier this week, the Tao spoke of springtime mancrushes. Yes, it’s that time of year when we get to see the new crop of prospects put on a show, and subsequently someone always catches my eye.
This spring, it just so happens to be Eric Thames.
So what do we know about Eric Thames? Well, if he had an eHarmony profile, I’m certain he’d list his interests as yoga, studying Jose Bautista’s swing on Youtube, and coiffing a spectacular fu manchu.
I’ll be honest, the first thing I learned about Eric Thames was his epic moustache. That alone was enough to score some bonus points … but his performance thus far in Dunedin is what’s really making him one prospect to keep our eyes on.
It’s still very early on, but Thames already has four hits: a single, double, triple, and home run. I guess you could call that the veritable Spring Training five game cycle. Not too shabby with five games under his belt so far.
Richard Griffin had a great piece on Thames earlier this week chronicling his journey through the minor leagues. If not for the myriad of injuries, Thames could have been a member of the team that originally selected him; the New York Yankees.
Let’s keep in mind this is someone that was drafted 219th overall in the 2008 draft. Eric Thames hasn’t had the benefit of being a highly-touted prospect. Instead, he’s had to make a name for himself from the ground up.
Not many experts have Eric Thames pegged as one of the Blue Jays best up and comers. In fact, he’s not even on Baseball America’s Top 10 Blue Jays prospects. Jays Journal has Thames listed as the 15th best prospect in the organization, and Bluebird Banter has him as 12th.
However, that’s the great thing about unheralded players that make their way up through the ranks seemingly out of nowhere. Expectations weren’t astronomical for Eric Thames out of the gate, which makes it a very pleasant surprise to see where he has progressed.
Considering how well he performed last year in New Hampshire, just imagine what kind of damage Eric Thames could do in Las Vegas. The hitter-friendly Pacific Coast League would be very kind to Thames … if he can stay healthy.
He’s definitely flying under the radar at the moment, but Eric Thames will only be able to remain incognito for so long. If there’s suddenly an injury to one of the outfielders or a trade is made later this season, you can be sure Thames will be ready for the call.
And if you need to find him, I’m sure he’ll be in some variation of downward facing dog.