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Joseph William Thurston (born September 29, 1979 in Fairfield, California) is a Major League Baseball utility player for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Thurston graduated from Vallejo high school in Vallejo, California. He was originally selected in 1997 by the Boston Red Sox in the 45th round (1,332nd overall) of the Major League Baseball draft, but did not sign with them and instead went to Sacramento City College. He was drafted again in 1999, this time by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 4th round (134th) of the 1999 Major League Baseball Draft.

In 2001, Thurston was ranked the 9th-best prospect in the Dodgers' system after posting a .338 OBP in AA Jacksonville, and by 2002 few prospects appeared to have a brighter future than the 22-year-old second baseman. Playing for the Las Vegas 51s of the AAA Pacific Coast League, Thurston hit .334 with an .878 OPS and 22 stolen bases in 2002, earning him the L.A. Dodgers' Minor League Player of the Year Award and Baseball America's AAA Player of the Year honors. Thurston made his major-league debut on September 2, 2002 for the Los Angeles Dodgers, hitting .462 in 8 games.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Joe Thurston."
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