Eric Thames
Eric Thames
33-Year-Old First Baseman1B
Washington Nationals
2020 Fantasy Outlook
Thames had a rough go of it in 2018 after undergoing thumb surgery and struggling afterward, but he bounced back nicely last season, posting numbers closer to his first campaign back in the states than his second. Despite hitting 25 home runs and posting an OPS of at least .851 two of the last three seasons, the Brewers did not pick up the team option on his contract. He landed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Nationals. It's clear Thames has power, but 23 of his home runs last season came against right-handed pitchers and his .188 BA against left-handers over the last three years limits him to a platoon role. He also hit far better at Miller Park than on the road as a Brewer -- he recorded 45 HR and a .905 OPS at home and 27 HR and a .789 OPS on the road -- and will play next season at 33 years old. Howie Kendrick should get all the starts against lefties, but Thames could hit behind Juan Soto vs. RHP. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
#392
ADP
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$Signed a one-year, $3 million contract with the Nationals in January of 2020. The contract includes a mutual option for a second season at $4 million and a $1 million buyout.
Sits against southpaw
1BWashington Nationals
August 10, 2020
Thames is not in the lineup against lefty Steven Matz and the Mets on Monday.
ANALYSIS
Thames didn't start against any of the first four lefties the Nationals faced this season, so it's no surprise to see him sit again Monday. Asdrubal Cabrera will handle first base in his absence.
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Batting Stats
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2019
2018
2017
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2019 MLB Game Log
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2018 MLB Game Log
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2017 MLB Game Log
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Batting Order Slot Breakdown
vs Right-Handed Pitchers
vs RHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
1
3
2
2
vs Left-Handed Pitchers
vs LHP
#1
#2
#3
#4
#5
#6
#7
#8
#9
Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+29%
OPS vs RHP
2020
 
 
-100%
OPS vs RHP
2019
 
 
+29%
OPS vs RHP
2018
 
 
+31%
OPS vs RHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018vs Left .651 92 6 3 9 1 .192 .304 .346
Since 2018vs Right .841 677 103 38 91 9 .243 .335 .506
2020vs Left .000 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000
2020vs Right .688 31 1 0 2 0 .259 .355 .333
2019vs Left .679 62 4 2 6 0 .200 .339 .340
2019vs Right .877 397 63 23 55 3 .254 .348 .529
2018vs Left .612 29 2 1 3 1 .185 .241 .370
2018vs Right .804 249 39 15 34 6 .223 .313 .491
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2018
 
 
+17%
OPS at Home
2020
Even Split
2019
 
 
+22%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+14%
OPS at Home
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2018Home .879 403 55 25 64 4 .256 .347 .531
Since 2018Away .753 366 54 16 36 6 .216 .314 .439
2020Home .665 29 1 0 2 0 .240 .345 .320
2020Away .667 3 0 0 0 0 .333 .333 .333
2019Home .935 229 35 14 36 1 .274 .371 .563
2019Away .769 230 32 11 25 2 .221 .322 .447
2018Home .833 145 19 11 26 3 .231 .310 .523
2018Away .728 133 22 5 11 4 .205 .301 .427
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Stat Review
How does Eric Thames compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances)*. The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.

* Exit Velocity and Barrels/PA % are benchmarked against 2019 data (min 400 PA) and Hard Hit Rate is benchmarked against last season's data (min 400 PA). See here for more exit velocity/barrels stats plus an explanation of current limitations with that data set.
  • BB/K
    Walk to strikeout ratio
  • BB Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a walk.
  • K Rate
    The percentage of plate appearances resulting in a strikeout.
  • BABIP
    Batting average on balls in play. Measures how many of a batter’s balls in play go for hits.
  • ISO
    Isolated Power. Slugging percentage minus batting average. A computation used to measure a batter's raw power.
  • AVG
    Batting average. Hits divided by at bats.
  • OBP
    On Base Percentage. A measure of how often a batters reaches base. Roughly equal to number of times on base divided by plate appearances.
  • SLG
    Slugging Percentage. A measure of the batting productivity of a hitter. It is calculated as total bases divided by at bats.
  • OPS
    On base plus slugging. THe sum of a batter's on-base percentage and slugging percentage.
  • wOBA
    Weighted on-base average. Measures a player's overall offensive contributions per plate appearance. wOBA combines all the different aspects of hitting into one metric, weighting each of them in proportion to their actual run value.
  • Exit Velocity
    The speed of the baseball as it comes off the bat, immediately after a batter makes contact.
  • Hard Hit Rate
    A measure of contact quality from Sports Info Solutions. This stat explains what percentage of batted balls were hit hard vs. medium or soft.
  • Barrels/PA
    The percentage of plate appearances where a batter had a batted ball classified as a Barrel. A Barrel is a batted ball with similar exit velocity and launch angle to past ones that led to a minimum .500 batting average and 1.500 slugging percentage.
BB/K
0.25
 
BB Rate
6.3%
 
K Rate
25.0%
 
BABIP
.350
 
ISO
.071
 
AVG
.250
 
OBP
.344
 
SLG
.321
 
OPS
.665
 
wOBA
.307
 
Exit Velocity
86.4 mph
 
Hard Hit Rate
70.0%
 
Barrels/PA
0.0%
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
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Defensive Stats
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Batted Ball Stats
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Stats Vs Upcoming Pitchers
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2014
2013
2012
2011
Thames burst onto the fantasy scene in 2017, hitting 31 home runs in his first campaign stateside since 2012. He got off to a fast start last year as well, but he injured his thumb in April and missed almost two months, and when he returned, Jesus Aguilar had established himself as the Brewers’ regular first baseman. Thames found playing time hard to come by after that, and he really struggled in a part-time role, posting just a .565 OPS after the All-Star break. Thames still managed an .804 OPS against right-handers last season despite hitting .223, so he could find himself in some sort of platoon there for the Brewers in 2019. However, unless he makes more contact, he could have trouble holding onto even that job.
No one really knew what to expect in Thames' first year in the big leagues since 2012, but he wasted little time showing what he was capable of, hitting 11 long balls in the season's first month. The 20 home runs he hit the rest of the way pale in comparison to his April total, but he still finished the year with respectable marks in both the on-base and slugging percentage categories. Thames was often subbed out last year against left-handed starters, but he was able to find some extra at-bats in the outfield, where he made 29 appearances. He will play about the same role at first base as he did last year, but the Brewers have better outfield depth than they did a year ago, so he may not see as much action there. Also, given the .789 OPS he posted from May onward, it will be a challenge for him to match the numbers he finished with a year ago. Thames had a productive return to MLB, but his fantasy prospects seem to be trending in the wrong direction heading into 2018.
Thames is returning from a three-year stint with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) to play for the Brewers. Thames posted video game numbers in Korea, particularly in 2015 when he slashed .381/.497/.790, with 47 home runs and 40 steals. He fell back to earth somewhat in 2016, but still posted a .317/.425/.676 line with 40 homers. Thames did have a sharp platoon split, however. The lefty hitting Thames did most of his damage in 2016 against righties, torching them for a .360 average and 28 home runs in 247 at-bats. The recent history of players transitioning from the KBO to MLB has been a mixed bag (Jung Ho Kang and Byungho Park), but Thames appears to be more confident and aggressive at the plate than he was during his previous time in MLB (where he had a career .727 OPS). He's set to play first base for the Brewers, but he could sit against some left-handed pitching.
Thames was claimed off waivers by the Astros in September, but he never saw the field as the club stuck with their younger outfielders down the stretch. Thames is still pretty young himself at age 27, and he possesses good on-base skills and decent power, but his success in the minors has not translated over a full season at the major league level thus far. Thames will look to sort things out in Korea after signing a deal with NC Dinos in December.
Thames came to Seattle from Toronto at the trade deadline and thrived at Safeco Field, posting a 1.044 OPS at home (58 AB) compared to .380 on the road (65 AB). Statistical anomaly in limited at-bats? Probably. More important is his lefty/righty split, which suggests a platoon future. It's a route the Mariners might have considered this season, but signing Raul Ibanez all but guarantees Thames won't be with the big-league club when camp breaks. Ultimately, Thames needs to improve his contract rate (.73 with Toronto, .63 with Seattle) for more consistency at the plate.
Thames got his well earned shot in May after a hot start at Triple-A Las Vegas and was up for good by June and seeing regular playing time. He hit 12 homers but struggled at times with the strike zone (88 strikeouts in 394 plate appearances) in his first exposure to the majors. His struggles against southpaws (.209 average, .637 OPS in 91 plate appearances) point to a platoon situation, potentially with Rajai Davis, as he tries to work his way into the picture in left field.
Thames enjoyed a breakout season at Double-A New Hampshire last year, hitting .286 with 27 homers in 130 games. He struggled against southpaws (.773 OPS) but handled righties well enough (.943 OPS) to warrant consideration as a nifty platoon mate down the road. He'll first need to prove that last year was no fluke after dealing with some injuries in the previous two seasons but bears watching.
More Fantasy News
Sitting versus lefty
1BWashington Nationals
August 7, 2020
Thames is not in the lineup Friday against the Orioles.
ANALYSIS
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Back in action
1BWashington Nationals
August 5, 2020
Thames (back) returns to the lineup Wednesday against the Mets, batting seventh and playing first base.
ANALYSIS
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Not starting Tuesday
1BWashington Nationals
Back
August 4, 2020
Thames (back) is not in the lineup Tuesday against the Mets.
ANALYSIS
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Absent for another simulated game
1BWashington Nationals
Back
August 2, 2020
Thames (back) didn't participate in Sunday's simulated game, Mark Zuckerman of MASNSports.com reports.
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Dealing with back issue
1BWashington Nationals
Back
August 1, 2020
Thames sat out Saturday's intrasquad scrimmage with back pain, Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post reports.
ANALYSIS
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