Eric Thames began his professional baseball career with the Toronto Blue Jays as a mid-round (seventh-round in 2008) pick who appeared to have a chance to blossom into one of MLB‘s premier sluggers, hitting 12 HR during his rookie campaign in 2011.
Thames was ultimately traded to the Seattle Mariners during his sophomore season in 2012. But he didn’t make enough of an impression during his short time with the big club to make the Mariners’ 25-man roster in 2013, and instead bounced around the minor leagues from start to finish.
Following his disappointing 2013 season, Thames elected to play in Korea, where he quickly earned the nickname “God” for his tremendous power and offensive prowess.
In three seasons for the NC Dinos, Thames clobbered a remarkable 124 HR, and tallied an unfathomable 382 RBI in just 389 games.
I’m certainly not one of the world’s premier and foremost mathematicians, but even I can figure out Thames essentially averaged one RBI per game in Korea, which is nothing short of otherworldly.
When the Milwaukee Brewers signed Thames to a three-year deal worth $16 million guaranteed, the move was met with criticism as they essentially designated Chris Carter for assignment to do so.
Carter had just led the National League in home runs (41, tied with Colorado Rockies slugger Nolan Arenado) for the 2016 season.
However, Thames has made Brewers GM David Stearns, who is one of the youngest MLB general managers at just 33 years old, look incredibly wise as he leads the majors with 11 HR, and is third in RBI with 19 in just 19 games.
— Around The Bases POD (@AroundBasesPOD) April 26, 2017
Every time a player who’s mainly struggled in MLB turns things around and becomes an offensive juggernaut seemingly overnight, whispers about performance-enhancing drug use that are malicious in tone surface whether they are founded, or nothing more than speculation.
Thames is no exception to the trend.
Cubs players believe that Eric Thames is up to something, serious accusations…. https://t.co/VmIQBJgHac
— Boston Strong (@BostonStrong_34) April 21, 2017
On Tuesday night, Thames addressed the topic. I mean, he essentially had no choice but to talk about it, as he was “randomly” drug tested following Milwaukee’s 9-1 bludgeoning of the Cincinnati Reds.
Eric Thames was drug tested again tonight. "If people keep thinking I'm on stuff, I'll be here every day. I have a lot of blood and urine." pic.twitter.com/De1smFWVj7
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) April 26, 2017
“If people keep thinking I’m on stuff, I’ll be here every day,” Thames told reporters without pulling punches. “I have a lot of blood and urine.”
Unfortunately, if Thames keeps hitting like he is, this will be a regular occurrence for the remainder of the season.
And the haters will continue to be out in full force…