Add Joe Thurstonto the list of left-handed hitting career minor leaguers signed by Ed Wade and having little or no chance of making the team. My brother from another mother is 32 years-old and played 124 of his 184 career big league games in 2009. That year Thurston got off to a hot start for Tony LaRussa’s Cardinals, hitting over .300 for most of April. Thurston stayed with the Cards for the entire season even though he faded fast and finished the year with a .225/.316/.330 slash line in 307 plate appearances.
Thurston has only played in one big league game since that 2009 season. His primary position is 2B but he also has some experience at 3B and in the outfield. Thurston has some speed but has a less than stellar success rate as a base stealer. In twelve minor league seasons Thurston has been successful on 201 of 339 stolen base attempts for a 59% success rate. Thurston reached AAA at age 22 but has been unable to get over the hump, spending most of the last nine seasons at the level. He has shown a little plate discipline and doesn’t strike out a lot. His .793 OPS at AAA isn’t bad for a position player but I just don’t see Thurston making the Astros Opening Day roster.