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Making Room for Marcus Thames

I just got my copy of Baseball Prospectus 2007 today.  BP was one of the first annuals I started buying and while it’s now become one of several books I pick up every year, it’s still a joy getting it in the mail and I still find myself flipping through an older edition now and then (which I did when I did my write up on Chad Durbin).

One of the first Tiger writeups that stood out was Marcus Thames.  His projection has him at .257/.342/.521 with 27 homeruns in 452 plate appearances.  No other Tiger has more projected homeruns and this is a guy who as of right now, has no every day spot in the Tigers lineup.  They’re trying him at first base to give the Tigers a left/right platoon at first but this is a guy who should be in the lineup every day.

Which gets us to Craig Monroe.  I know he came up with some timely hits last year but I’m still going to contend that if given the choice, Marcus Thames should be the starter in left field.  Monroe is probably the better fielder but not enough to warrant more at bats then Thames.  And of course Monroe’s projections come out at a more mediocre .265/.316/.458 with 21 homeruns in 553 plate appearances. 

And I don’t want to sound like I’m down on Monroe because I think he’s a good ballplayer, I just think Thames is better.  For some reason though, Thames has been on the short end of the left field stick and it looks like only a trade (whether it’s Thames or Monroe) will free up Thames.  I just have a feeling that if a deal is made, it’ll be the wrong guy that goes.

***UPDATE 3/6/07***

I didn’t notice this until today, but it’s Marcus Thames’ birthday.  He’s now 30.  Happy birthday Marcus.

How Thames gets 452 PA’s is a mystery to me. He got 390 PA’s last year and that was without Sheffield. I think that either a trade or injury has to happen for him to approach that, otherwise I think 250-300 PA’s is the top end this year.

Posted by Ryan on March 6th, 2007 at 5:03 am

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