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Dickie Joe Thon Taking on New Positions

Transition from SS to 2B Will Add Flexibility

Dickie Joe Thon Taking on New Positions

April 28, 2014

Dickie Joe Thon

Dickie Joe Thon at-bat in Lansing (Eva Crawford)

Every season presents an opportunity to learn new positions and nobody knows that better than Dickie Joe Thon. The Puerto Rico native is playing second base and left field for the Lansing Lugnuts. Thon, who began his career as a shortstop is finding the transition to the other side of the bag and the outfield, an easy one as he’s enjoying the opportunity to contribute every day.

“I began my career as a shortstop, it’s my natural position,” explained Thon. “Playing second base began this season and I’m enjoying it. I played one game in left field last season in Vancouver, but it’s still pretty new to me, but I’ll play there. As long as I’m in the lineup I’m happy and I’ll do whatever it takes to help my team win.”

Learning new positions isn’t difficult for Thon, who is the son of former major league utility player Dickie Thon. The older Thon appeared in 1,387 MLB games while playing for the Angels, Astros, Padres, Phillies, Rangers, and Brewers in his big league career. With such a connection to the game, there wasn’t much doubt that the younger Thon would pick up a love for baseball at a very young age and that connection between father and son has continued throughout the younger Thon’s career.

“I talk to my Dad every day throughout the season whether things are going good or bad,” Thon said with a smile. “My Dad is always my reference because he knows me better than anybody. He understands the game really well from playing 16 years in the majors and he always has good advice for me.”

Obviously, Thon would love to follow in his father’s footsteps of playing in the big leagues, but first he needed to be part of an organization. Thon got one step closer to his dream when the Toronto Blue Jays drafted him in the 5th round of the 2010 MLB draft, an exciting moment for Thon.

“The [draft day] process is nerve-whacking,” Thon recalls, “so once you’re picked, it’s all better. I was really happy when the Blue Jays selected me and was looking forward to starting my career.”

Currently in Lansing, Thon is batting .238 with three doubles, two home runs, and 13 RBIs. Thon had a memorable game on April 5th at Lake County when he hit a grand slam. What made the moment even more special was Thon had never hit a grand slam before that day.

“My grand slam on April 5th was my first ever,” stated Thon. “I got a good pitch to hit and made contact. It felt great and I’ll always remember it.”

The great start in Lansing comes as little surprise, as Thon had a great 2013 season in the Northwest League. The young utility player batted .280 with seven doubles, three triples, a home run, and 21 RBIs while a member of the Vancouver Canadians.

Not only did Thon have a great season in British Columbia. He really enjoyed the atmosphere on Canada’s west coast and winning his first professional championship made the experience even better.

“Vancouver is amazing,” he said. “Great atmosphere, great fans, and we won the championship so everything capped off in a great way.”

“Unfortunately I was injured when we won the championship, but I was there with the team, it was a great experience.”

Thon is enjoying the opportunity to work with Lugnuts hitting coach Ken Huckaby. The two have worked together in spring training and now on a daily basis in Lansing.

“Ken is great,” stated Thon. “Huckaby is always there to help us in the cage. I have been working with Ken since spring training and a little bit last season too. I know him well and enjoy working with him.”

Batting in different spots of the lineup, Lansing Lugnuts hitting coach Ken Huckaby has enjoyed what he’s seen from Thon all season, especially in the leadoff spot.

“I think Dickie is doing a really good job,” stated Huckaby. “Thon is seeing the ball really well and have been giving us great at-bats. He’s a nice spark at the top of the lineup.”

Watch for Dickie Joe Thon, as he gets acclimated to new positions and continues to be an impact player every day in the Blue Jays system.