FanGraphs Baseball


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  1. Miss Country Strong in the D. Good luck Marcus.

    Comment by Tim — January 11, 2013 @ 2:18 pm

  2. Every Tiger fan around the world knows who “Country Strong” is. Rod Allen dubbed him that name but Jim Leland’s brother (Father Leland) used to watch minor league games all the time and kept telling everyone how Marcus could hit. C-Mo keeps tab on Marcus and told us about Marcus mother passing. I always wonder how he’s doing and now he’s got a job. Best of luck, Marcus. You will always be loved in the D and remembered as Country Strong.

    Comment by Kathy — January 11, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  3. Dear FanGraphs,

    The title should be:
    Farewell to Marcus “Country Strong” Thames the player

    Rod Allen

    Comment by IHateJoeBuck — January 11, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  4. Enjoyed him with the Yanks. Deceptively productive. That career .239 ISO is very strong.

    Comment by k — January 11, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  5. Not to defend Delmon Young, but it seems a little unfair to compare a full time starter to a bench player who never had more than 400 AB in a season this way, especially considering the large platoon advantage Thames had (>40% of his ABs versus LHP).

    That said, great summary of his career- he always seemed like a good guy, and one who overcame a lot to even be able to play MLB.

    Comment by Christina — January 12, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  6. I always loved adding Thames to my video game teams. Not the best guy, but he did carve himself a niche, so it’s fun to see an article on him.

    Comment by Ruki Motomiya — January 12, 2013 @ 10:25 pm

  7. Mr. Klaasen, you had some typos here: “Thames returned to the Yankees in 2009 and recaptured some of the old magic at the plate, hitting .288/.340/.391 (126 wRC+) with 12 home runs in just 237 plate appearances.”

    According to our very own Fangraphs page of him, Thames was still in DET 2009, before going to NYY next year, hitting .288/.350/.491… a “.391″ SLG is hardly a power threat, wouldn’t you say? :-D

    Comment by BillyF — January 13, 2013 @ 2:39 am

  8. And I spotted those typos because I followed the Tigers real closely between 2007-09! When we expected great things from them but well, like our economy, the performance fell short.

    Comment by BillyF — January 13, 2013 @ 2:41 am

  9. I lived in the Bronx and Riverdale during the great Yankee years in the 1990s, and always sat in the bleachers- they deserved their own reality show.

    Comment by JKB — January 13, 2013 @ 10:29 am

  10. Thames was my favorite player back when he played with the Tigers. I remember him hitting a home run to break a scoreless pitchers’ duel in the eighth between Jeremy Bonderman and Scott Baker.

    Comment by Zach — January 13, 2013 @ 5:07 pm

  11. He was the perenial “sleeper” pick.

    Comment by Jay — January 13, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

  12. Excuse the typo. Perennial

    Comment by Jay — January 13, 2013 @ 6:02 pm

  13. It’s not a terrible comparison. Thames out-homered Young every year between 2006 and 2009, despite seeing a fraction of the PAs. That Thames also led in fWAR each of those years was definitely aided by his being a platoon hitter and facing a higher percentage of lefties. Still, it’s kind of cool to see how teams squeezed some valuable production out of Thames despite his limited toolset. He’s a poster child for platooning.

    Comment by Jay Stevens — January 14, 2013 @ 8:40 am

  14. Rod Allen “There is only one who is #CountryStrong thats marcus Thames

    Comment by #CountryStrong — January 14, 2013 @ 10:05 am

  15. Thames was a better player than Young. He just didn’t get the chances that Young keeps getting for no reason that I can possibly fathom.

    Comment by Dan — January 14, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

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