If 2010 is supposed to be the year of the pitcher, then someone forgot to tell Twins’ DH Jim Thome. Added to the roster to be a pinch hitter/spot starter, the future Hall of Famer took on a bigger role with the Twinkies after Justin Morneau went down with a concussion and he has responded by averaging a homer every 11 or so at bats.
Too bad he only has 293 plate appearances this year, or we might be talking about a 40-50 hr season for the 39 year old. He’s not just doing it with the long ball either, as he’s sporting a .275/.399/.621 slash line that more than meets the Billy Beane eye test (is that a saber in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?)
Even if he isn’t playing full time, Thome still has value for those looking to gain some ground in home runs down the stretch, especially in leagues that allow daily lineup changes. Just for fun, let’s see how the part-time Thome compares to some popular early round picks from this year:
- Thome: 293 pa, .275, 21 hr, 51 rbi
- Utley: 411 pa, .273, 12 hr, 52 rbi
- Kemp: 580 pa, .251, 22 hr, 74 rbi
- J. Upton: 563 pa, .275, 17 hr, 68 rbi
Not too shabby for a guy that wasn’t good enough for Ozzie Guillen. If Thome can hang on at least one more season he will get to 600 hr and, without ever a hint of steroid suspicion in his career, will be guaranteed a spot in Cooperstown.