The Atlanta Braves have promoted first baseman/outfielder Scott Thorman from Triple-A Richmond. He'll join the club in Atlanta Sunday as the Braves close out a weekend series against the Boston Red Sox.
Thorman has been outstanding for the Richmond Braves this season, hitting .324 with 15 home runs and 44 RBI in 256 at bats. He leads the International League in hits (83) and total bases (146), is second in home runs, slugging percentage (.570) and OPS (.965), third in RBI, fourth in batting average, and seventh in on base percentage (.394).
Over the past three seasons, Thorman has seen steady improvement in his offense. In 2003 "Thor" spent the entire season in Myrtle Beach and hit .243 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI in 445 at bats. The Braves felt he needed just a bit more seasoning in High-A, so they sent him back there to start the 2004 season, hoping he'd be out of there by the All-Star Break. Thorman hit .299 with 4 home runs and 29 RBI in 154 at bats. It was the improvement they were looking for, and he put up a combined .257 average with 16 home runs and 85 RBI in 599 at bats in the Carolina League.
Then Thorman finished the 2004 season in Double-A Greenville. He hit .252 with 11 home runs and 51 RBI in 345 at bats. The Braves put him on the half-season plan and sent him back to Double-A, this time in Mississippi, to start the 2005 season. Thorman would improve to .305 with 15 home runs and 65 RBI in 348 at bats. So he ended his Double-A experience, over parts of two seasons, with a .278 average, 26 home runs, and 116 RBI in 693 at bats.
Last season he would move on to Triple-A Richmond, where he hit .276 with 6 home runs and 27 RBI in 210 at bats. So combined with this season's numbers, Thorman's overall AAA stats were impressive: .303, 21 home runs, 71 RBI, 141 hits in 466 at bats.
Drafted in the first round of the 2000 draft out of Canada, Thorman was originally a pitcher and third baseman in high school. He suffered a shoulder injury that same year he was drafted and the Braves moved him to first base. He has also played the outfield in spurts over the past two seasons, and the Braves are happy enough with his defense in left field to feel comfortable with him at the big league level.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can also be heard regularly on the Braves Radio Network. Email Bill at email@example.com.
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