Look at that man. Just LOOK at him.
How can you NOT want that man on your team? Seriously, does he not just radiate awesomeness?
I've probably been more excited by Eric Thames than any other Jays writer since he was drafted in 2008. something or other I read at the time just intrigued me and I would say, when people discussed their favorite prospects, how much I believed he'd do big things if he ever got healthy (not that I'm some sort of prophet, I've also been a big dreamer, in the past, that Eric Eiland would get it together at some point to and that went horribly wrong).
Thames - for those of you who haven't been as obsessed with him as I have - only fell to the Jays because an injury during his final college season at Pepperdine (for the second year in a row) caused him to fall all the way to the seventh round (when he'd been discussed as a late first round talent before the injury). He was considered a bargain IF he could stay healthy. which of course did turn out to be a bit of a problem. He missed all of 2008 after signing, the team wanting to be really really recovered. Another, unrelated injury, badly shortened his 2009 season, but when he did play, he played very well, though he didn't display much home run power yet.
After only 59 games as a pro, the Blue Jays started Thames at AA in 2010 and it was there that he fully blossomed, staying healthy for the first time in his career. Playing in 130 games (he'd never topped 60 in a season before) Thames fell JUST short of a .900 OPS and put himself on the map with the rest of the Jays blogosphere.
We tend to think of Thames as behind Snider, and yes, Snider has immense talent and is even now a year younger than Thames. I have lost no affection for Travis Snider. BUT. Even the fast moving Snider has played in 394 minor league games, over 300 of those before his major league debut. Thames has played in 225. If you look at his track record, the man has yet to hit poorly anywhere under any circumstance. His arm isn't great, but otherwise he's a comparable fielder to Snider. Both at least competent. I'm not sure how much I like either player spending a lot of time DHing, but dammit I want both of them in the Blue jays line-up the next few years.
I, for one, am hoping he shows Farrell and Anthopoulos enough over the next week to stay for good. I frankly don't care if the team has to eat whatever minimal value there might be left in Rivera to do so. (Others advocate going back to a seven man 'pen but as long as that means screwing Casey Janssen I'm not in that camp)
No later than August 1 (and hopefully much sooner) I'm counting on both Snider and Thames to be joined by everyone's favorite prospect (including mine) Brett Lawrie. Don't forget the presence of JPA and you have something to be excited about (besides demigod Jose Bautista of course). As much as the stopgap guys are frustrating you right now, imagine this in august:
If someone could just get Hill figured out then that's fun at every single spot. I'd L-O-V-E LOVE it!