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One last dance with Jim Thome

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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One more time, with feeling (USP)

So the Orioles just added an aging DH who's about two months shy of his 42nd birthday, a .242 hitter who's seen all of 62 at-bats this year. This guy really has fantasy value?

Yes, Jim Thome has fantasy value. Keep an open mind and stick with us for a moment. There's a good reason Baltimore shipped two Single-A prospects to Philadelphia for the future Hall of Famer on Saturday.

To understand Thome's potential, you have to look at the proper pocket of his 2012 stats. Forget the overall package — he was essentially a pinch-hitter in Philly — and concentrate on what he did when he was given consistent playing time.

The Phillies used Thome as their dedicated DH during a nine-game swing through AL parks last month, and Thome came through with flying colors: 12-for-36, four homers, four walks, .333/.415/.722 slash. He specifically had a ball in Camden Yards: 6-for-13 with a homer and two doubles (that's obviously what got the Orioles interested in the first place). Shrewd streamers were hip to Thome back then, and they'll be hip to him now.

Thome was a respectable .256/.361/.477 bat in the American League last year, with 15 homers in 277 at-bats. He clocked 25 homers in just 276 at-bats with the Twins in 2010. There are some good swings left in this bat, and power isn't easy to find in the world of roto 2012.

I'm not sure if Thome will play much against left-handed starters, and he's going to be a utility lock-up — he doesn't carry a position in Y! leagues and the Orioles have no desire to put him in the field. If you're in a shallow mixed league, there's no reason to make a point and click. But I like Thome as a power grab for medium and deeper mixed pools, and obviously he's a terrific addition to any AL-only roster.

Four out of five AL East parks are favorable for offense or homers, and Camden Yards already looks Thome-friendly. The lefty slugger awaits your call in 96 percent of Yahoo! leagues.

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