Dodger Prospect Joe Thurston

31st in a series as we count down among the top Dodger prospects.

Position- Second Base
Residence-Vallejo, Cal.
DOB- Sept. 29, 1979
Height- 5-11
B/T- L-R.
04 Club- Las Vegas (AAA); Los Angeles (Majors)

It was 2002 when the guy they like to call "Joey Ballgame" had an apparent breakout season. A batting average of .334 that included 39 doubles, 13 triples and 12 home runs plus 22 stolen bases. He was the organization's Player of the Year that year and rightly so. Why does it seem so long ago? He was expected to be the next Dodger second baseman the following spring yet failed to do so and has been scuffling ever since.

This past season started miserably but he never quit hustling, coming on in the second half to wind up with a respectable .284 average. Now he's back for seemingly once last shot. Although the competition has changed -- Alex Cora is gone, Jeff Kent is here but nowawdays nobody's considering Joe for the regular's job.

He has some tools. Over the years he's smoothed out his defensive play considerably with reasonably good hand action and acceptable footwork.

He slashes at the ball on offense and although his power production has dropped, he still can be pesky at the plate. His best bet now seems to be a utility role although Antonio Perez has since arrived to probably take that role away as well.