Phillies Profile – Jim Thome

In Philadelphia Phillies on March 25, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Over the next 28 days Philly Pressbox ( (@phillypressbox) will be doing a review and analysis of each Phillies player, Manager Charlie Manuel and the coaching staff leading up to Opening Day 2012.  On Day 17 we preview, Jim Thome.

Jim Thome – What a treat it is to have Jim Thome back in a Phillies uniform. Thome brings a career of experience and success back to Philadelphia with him but most importantly he brings leadership to the ball club. Thome is a genuine nice guy and student of the game. He reminds us a lot of Jamie Moyer, always talking about the game and working with younger players. The 41 year old Thome enters his 22nd big league season. He played his first 13 seasons with the Cleveland Indians and the next 3 seasons with the Phillies. He was traded by the Phils to the Chicago White Sox for Aaron Rowand, Daniel Haigwood and Gio Gonzalez. He played for the White Sox until being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He later moved on to the Minnesota Twins and back to the Indians before signing as a Free Agent on November 4, 2011 with the Phils.

Jim brings with him 604 career home runs, 1674 runs batted in, along with a .277 batting average. He ranks #2 on the Active Career Home Run list behind Alex Rodriguez and #8 All Time. He is also #3 in the Active Career RBI list behind Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez.   He is the Active Career Leader in Strikeouts, 2,487 and Bases on Balls, with 1,725.

Interestingly, Thome has hit more than 50 home runs in a season once, 40 or more 5 other times and 30 or more 6 other times but has only won the home run title one time, 2003, with 47, while playing for the Phils. He has also had more than 100 RBI’s in 9 different seasons but has never led the league. He has made 5 All Star teams but never finished higher than 4th in MVP voting in any season.  

Personal Analysis:

It will be great if Thome can be a productive player for The Fightins’ at 1st base while Ryan Howard is on the Disabled List. As of this writing, Jim is scheduled to play his first Spring Training game in the field today. If Thome can play nearly every day until Howard gets back and be productive it will be a big boost for the Phillies lineup, while taking pressure off of Hunter Pence and John Mayberry, Jr. He’s proven he can still hit the long ball, 23, 25 and 15 home runs in the last 3 seasons but they were all as the Designated Hitter. The big question will be can Thome play in the field everyday and still be a productive hitter at age 41? Our opinion is Thome is the consummate professional and will do everything possible to be in the starting lineup on opening day. This is likely the final stop in Jim’s outstanding career as he makes one last push for that elusive World Series ring before making his final baseball stop in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. Phillies fans should enjoy the true treasure they’re getting to see in the final year of his career.

Tomorrow we will preview Kyle Kendrick.

The series: Day 1, Charlie Manuel. Day 2, The Coaching Staff. Day 3, Roy Halladay. Day 4, Cliff Lee. Day 5, Cole Hamels. Day 6, Vance Worley. Day 7, Joe Blanton. Day 8, Carlos “Chooch” Ruiz. Day 9, Ryan Howard. Day 10, Chase Utley. Day 11, Jimmy Rollins. Day 12, Placido Polanco. Day 13, John Mayberry, Jr. Day 14, Shane Victorino. Day 15, Hunter Pence. Day 16, Brian Schneider.

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