Pittsburgh Pirates NL Central Rivals: Milwaukee Brewers
The most interesting move the Brewers made this offseason was signing 30-year-old Eric Thames out of Korea. Thames was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2008 and made his Major League debut for them in 2011. Over the next couple years, Thames bounced between Triple-A and the Majors. He also bounced between teams, spending time in the Blue Jays, Mariners, Orioles, and Astros organizations. During his first stint in the Majors Thames struck out too often (25.6%), almost never walked (5.6%), and didn’t hit for enough power to make up for it (.182 ISO).
After spending all of 2013 in the minor leagues, Thames signed with the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball Organization where he has been ever since. He has been stellar during his time in Korea, winning KBO MVP in 2015. The Brewers are obviously hoping that Thames was able to work through his strikeout and walk issues in Korea. Additionally, the degree to which his power translates from Korea back to the Majors will go a long way towards determining how the Brewers season goes.