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February 12, 2010

B-R on Big Frank

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ February 12, 2010 6:42 pm
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Andy:

It’s very common to talk about players’ careers and wonder “how much better would he have been if he could just have stayed healthy?” Thomas is one of those cases, since after his age 32 season he managed only 3 more years with at least 140 games and had 4 full seasons with fewer than 80 games. However, there’s more to it than just the games. After missing almost all of 2001 he had a good-by-anybody-else’s-standards 2002 with 28 HR, 92 RBI, and a 118 OPS+. People wondered if he was done. Then in 2003 he roared back with 42 HR, 105 RBI, and a 146 OPS+.  After two more lost years in 2004 and 2005 he came back from injury in 2006 and posted 39 HR, 114 RBI, and a 140 OPS+ in 137 games with Oakland (at age 38!) My point is that the guy twice came back from major injury layoffs to post huge seasons, which really lends credence to the idea that if he had been healthier he had a good shot to post some really big career totals. He might have played 300 more games and realistically could have had 70 more HR, which would have put him close to 600 career bombs. …

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