By Jason Klein
Originally Written For The Official Steiner Sports Blog – 9/1/10
On June 10, 2002, Marcus Thames had Yankees fans buzzing. The little-known rookie outfielder had just sent the first pitch of his Major League career deep into the Bronx sky, stunningly smashing a home run in his first pro at bat. To add to the drama, the blast came at the expense of the legendary Randy Johnson.
Welcome to the big leagues kid.
Eight years later,Thames has Yankees fans buzzing again with his bat. With Alex Rodriguez on the shelf, nursing a strained calf,Marcus Thameshas filled in admirably of late, smashing six home runs in five games. During the outburst, he’s padded his season stats, now hitting .310 with 10 home runs and 28 RBI – not bad for a part-time player.
Hitting home runs in bunches is nothing new for Thames. Over his nine-year career, he is averaging 1 home run every 15.32 at bats. The mark places him 22nd on the all-time list for best ratio of home runs per at bat.
His recent production has been key for a Yankees team that is struggling of late. Just one game up on the second place Rays, and with several key members of the club not performing, or on the disabled list, Thames could be a major part of a team with World Series aspirations over the next two months.
With Alex Rodriguez targeting a return this week, and Lance Berkman scheduled to come off the DL shortly, Marcus Thames may find himself in a platoon situation at DH.
If history is any indication, Thames will continue to produce at a record clip, and keep the Bronx buzzing.
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