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Jim Thome Hits 500th Homer

Jim Thome hit his 500th career homer, a walk-off, today against the Angels. Surprisingly, Thome took fewer at bats to hit 500 homers than any player except Harmon Killebrew, Mark McGwire and Babe Ruth. I went to Thome's Baseball Reference page expecting to see that one reason he got to 500 homers so quickly was because, like Killebrew (and McGwire, actually), he didn't get too many other kinds of hits, but that's not the case. Thome has batted over .300 three times, and has a lifetime batting average of .281. That's much better than I was expecting from a guy who contributed so much with his power and walks.

Cheers to Thome - he's one of my favorite players to watch, because he's such an intelligent-looking hitter, like Barry Bonds or Frank Thomas, or like Brian Giles when he played for the Pirates. (And yeah, I know Thome strikes out a whole lot more often than those guys, but still.) Thome's power scares pitchers, which is almost unfair, because he's always working the count and refusing to give up. There are few hitters who look more competent at the plate than Thome does.