Ex-Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames wins MVP in South Korea


Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames. (Patrick Semansky/AP)

Former Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Eric Thames was voted MVP of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO) on Tuesday.

Thames, who plays first base for the NC Dinos, edged out two-time MVP Park Byung-ho by just six votes (50-44) after recording the KBO’s first-ever 40-40 season with 47 home runs and 40 stolen bases. He also led the league in average (.381), on-base percentage (.497), slugging percentage (.790), runs scored (130), extra-base hits (94) and doubles (42). He finished second in RBI with 140.

Average Home Runs RBI
1. Eric Thames (NC) 0.381 1. Byung Ho Park (Nexen) 53 1. Byung Ho Park (Nexen) 146
2. Han Joon Yoo (Nexen) 0.362 2. Yamaico Navarro (Samsung) 48 2. Eric Thames (NC) 140
3. Ja Wook Koo (Samsung) 0.349 3. Eric Thames (NC) 47 3. Yamaico Navarro (Samsung) 137
4. Andy Marte (kt) 0.348 4. Min Ho Kang (Lote) 35 4. Sung Bum Na (NC) 135
5. Byung Ho Park (Nexen) 0.343 5. Hyoung Woo Choi (Samsung) 33 5. Hyoung Woo Choi (Samsung) 123

The 29-year-old received the award — along with a crown of flowers — during the KBO award ceremony in South Korea.

Thames was selected by the Blue Jays in the seventh round of the 2008 draft. He made his debut for Toronto on May 18, 2011, and went on to play 141 games for the Blue Jays over parts of two seasons.

Thames was dealt to the Seattle Mariners at the 2012 trade deadline in exchange for Steve Delabar, and played 40 games for the Mariners in the second half of that season. He also spent time with the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros organizations before signing with the Dinos in December of 2013.

In 181 major-league games, Thames had 158 hits, 21 homers and 62 RBI, with a slash line of .250/.296/.431.

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