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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    The Boogie Down

    Josh Thole - Metsí Top Catching Prospect (Post #4)
    Written by: Joey DeMayo

    In the 13th round of the 2005 Amateur Draft the New York Mets selected a high school catcher named Josh Thole from Breese, Illinois. Thole spent his first two seasons in short season ball, his rookie campaign in the Gulf Coast League, and then in 2006 he played for the Kingsport Mets. His first full season came in 2007 when he played for the Savannah Sand Gnats.

    In 2007, Thole hit .267 with 0 home runs, and 36 RBI. He had a great on base percentage of .372 thanks to a 61/57 BB/K ratio. But in general terms, a so-so year for a 20 year old catcher. After a year like that, one would think he would repeat Savannah at age 21, but with Francisco Pena there, they decided to test Thole in a higher level, at St Lucie.

    And it has been a 180 degree turnaround from 2007 in 2008. Thole is hitting .304 with 5 home runs and 53 RBI thus far. He is sporting a .387 on base percentage thanks to another great BB/K ratio of 44/34, and his OPS(on base+slugging) is at .824 which is well above average, .700 is deemed pretty good. You can expect Thole to start 2009 as a 22 year old in Double-A.

    I had the chance to briefly speak to Thole and get some background on him. Growing up he idolized retired catcher Mike Matheny for his ability to call a game, and just being a great catcher. He has not followed in Mathenyís footsteps as a hitter fortunately. When I asked him what adjustments he made at the plate that made his numbers so much better this year, he cited just maturing as a hitter as the main reason for his success, he feels he still has the same approach as he always had, but he just has been wiser at the plate. When he was drafted, he was not considering any major colleges, he signed on with a junior college in case signing with the Mets didnít work out.

    Thole is a kid to keep an eye on for sure, as he is turning 22 after the season ends, and he will be in Double-A next year for his age 22 season, he very well could be looked at as a potential starting catcher in the future with his good bat and improving defense.
    13 seems to be a lucky number for Minaya's draft picks.
    Murphy in 06
    Thole in 05
    Shaw this year.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Play the lotto 13 times today?
    Matt Harvey - 8-2; 2.37 ERA; 94 K's; 76.0 Inning.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Sounds like a Paul Lo Duca type catcher, except higher OBP. He doesn't strike out often and enjoys being the catcher.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    New York Lower Hudson Valley

    Josh Thole - Metsí Top Catching Prospect

    Thole is Fall guy
    by ADAM RUBIN, NY Daily News

    Josh Thole became a Florida State League All-Star in 2008, hitting .300 in 111 games with St. Lucie to burst onto the scene as perhaps the Metsí top catching prospect, rivaling Francisco Pena and Dock Doyle. Thole, a 13th-round pick out of high school in Breese, Ill., is currently one of seven Mets prospects with the Peoria Saguaros in the Arizona Fall League, joining pitchers Eddie Kunz, Bobby Parnell, Tobi Stoner and Jason Vargas and infielders Shawn Bowman and Daniel Murphy. With an off-day in the NLCS on Tuesday, Surfing the Mets caught up with the soon-to-be 22-year-old Thole in Surprise, Ariz. Hereís a brief Q&A. Stayed turned for other AFL coverage, too.

    You had moved up every year in the minors since joining the Mets, but this had to be considered a breakout year.

    ďNo question about it. It was a great opportunity. Actually, the opportunity arose at the end of April. I just kind worked myself in there and became an everyday guy. Everything just kind of fell my way. We were struggling a little bit as a team and trying to shake things around. I kind of went from there.Ē

    You had been primarily a first baseman with the Mets before Ď08, no?

    ďThis last year was the first tine that I did a lot of catching. I think I caught about 70 games. Thatís the most Iíve ever caught. I was drafted as a catcher. Then when I got to the Mets I caught a little bit - in the Gulf Coast, Kingsport and then Savannah just a handful of games. I mainly played first base. Getting back into the catching, itís a lot different here than what I had to go through in high school. Itís kind of like starting from scratch. I kind of redid everything, from the stance to throwing to second base to blocking. Everything has just been a whole big change for me. Bobby Nadal, our catching coordinator, really has been putting in a lot of time with me.Ē

    The Marlins scout called you right before the 12th round in Ď05 and you agreed on the contractual terms. You had an understanding they would draft you that round, but then it didnít happen and the Mets took you before they picked again?

    ďWe thought we had a deal done. Then it slipped right through. I didnít know what was going to happen from there. The (Marlins) scout that called me just said it was out of his control.Ē

    You grew up taking batting practice in a barn belong to a friend, Jason Rakers?

    ďThrough high school, thatís what I did. Iím from southern Illinois, so itís all country. His dad had a little loft where he put a batting cage up. My dad went up there five, six times a week with me and did our work. It was a hayloft. The barn was on the bottom and the hayloft was on the second level.Ē

    Breese is close to St. Louis, but rural?

    ďAbout 40 minutes across the river. All farmland. We actually lived in the city. We werenít all farmers. Itís rural, but they have some nice subdivisions.Ē

    Yank Fan since '58 -- Mets Fan since '62
    Model Trains - N-scale, Genealogy, Philately, Photography, Paradise

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Reese Havens may be switched to a catcher too.

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