Detroit Tigers: Three Free Agent Batters Team Should Sign
2016 Team: NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization
2016 Stat of Note: 118 RBI
The Korean Baseball Organization isn’t up to Major League Baseball standards in terms of competition, but it remains one of the better professional leagues outside of North America.
Despite the drop off in competition, it’s hard to ignore Thames numbers since joining the NC Dinos prior to 2014.
In three seasons with the team, the former Major League outfielder mashed 124 home runs and 101 doubles in 388 games. What’s more, he also added 379 RBI and 342 runs scored while batting a robust .348.
Thames isn’t likely to replicate those kinds of gaudy numbers in the Majors, but he could be an intriguing source of power.
The 30-year-old turned in a promising debut season with the Blue Jays, batting .262 with 58 runs scored, 37 RBI, 24 doubles, 12 home runs and five triples in just 95 games. However, he struggled in his second season.
Overall, Thames hit .250 with a .296 on-base percentage, 85 runs scored, 62 RBI, 36 doubles, 21 home runs and eight triples in 181 career games.
Potential Fit in with the Detroit Tigers
Not only have the outfielder’s power numbers in Korea been impressive, he’s also picked up a knack for getting on base. After posting a .296 on-base percentage with the M’s and Jays, Thames logged a .450 number overseas.
That number included Thames output from 2015, when he drew more walks (103) than punch outs (91) in a 142-game schedule.
The 30-year-old’s ability to get on base and drive the ball would certainly help Detroit should the likes of J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and Victor Martinez end up moving on.