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what-does-thormans-07-have-in-store-2 | March | 2007 Articles

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What does Thorman's '07 have in Store?

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One of the biggest reasons John Schuerholz felt comfortable trading away firstbaseman Adam Laroche was that he was confident in Scott Thorman's ability to be a productive every day player. There were mixed reviews of his callup last season, but he did show the raw power that has had Braves fans excited ever since he was picked in the 1st round out of his High School in Ontario. He managed a pretty meager .703 OPS in his first 128 ABs in Atlanta last season, but the story of his career has been sup-par adjustment periods at each level throughout the minors, followed by a season of absolutely crushing opposing pitching. In Myrtle Beach, his OPS jumped from .702 to .809; in AA it jumped from .732 to .866, and in Richmond it went up from .751 to .868. While it would be premature to assume he will repeat that trend, his history does show that he takes a good number of at bats to adjust to the competition. His '06 campaign really opened eyes around baseball. He blasted 15 HRs and kept his average around .300 in only 309 ABs before getting called up. The projections for Thorman's 2007 numbers vary greatly from one to the next. His Minor League Equivalent for last season was a very respectable .270/.324/.466 with 14 HRs in 309 ABs. Stretch that out to around 500 and you are talking about 23 HRs. This is around where I see Thorman performing this year. Bill James is probably the most optomisitc about Thorman's ability. In the 2007 Bill James Handbook, he has him listed at .287/.334/.494 with 8 HRs in only 178 ABs. Again, if you stretch those numbers out to a conservative guess of 500 ABs, we come up with around 23 HRs. I would be very happy to have that kind of production out of Thorman considering that would be just about average for NL firstbasemen (.290/.372/.507). The defensive aspect is solid at least. While Laroche was a master with the glove, his range was never all that. Thorman brings a bit extra range to the table but isn't as sure with the glove. Overall he is still not on the same level as Laroche, but he won't hurt the team with his play in the field. Thorman is a very strong and powerful firstbaseman, who should develop into a solid regular at the least. He may be forced into a platoon because Wilson's shoulder has not yet allowed him to play in the outfield but that doesn't look like the plan right now. We can hope for the best, but plan for the worst with Wilson ready just in case Thorman doesn't produce well enough.
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