- Full name Joshua Michael Thole
- Born 10/28/1986 in Breese, IL
- Profile Ht.: 6'1" / Wt.: 190 / Bats: L / Throws: R
- School Mater Dei Catholic
- Debut 09/03/2009
- Drafted in the 13th round (389th overall) by the New York Mets in 2005.
Organization Prospect Rankings
A catcher in high school, Thole played just 26 games behind the plate in his first three years as a pro. When Sean McCraw couldn't get his bat going in 2008, Thole replaced him as St. Lucie's catcher a month into the season. He has hit .315 over the last two years, including .321 during a September callup with the Mets. Thole essentially takes a twostrike approach on all counts, choking up on the bat to punch line drives to both gaps. He hits for average and is difficult to strike out. He's receptive to coaching and showed defensive improvement after working with catching instructor Sandy Alomar Jr. in September. The downside of Thole's approach is that he hits for little power and rarely works deep enough counts to walk. His receiving is just adequate, his arm strength is below-average and he drops his arm slot, causing his throws to tail. However, he did throw out 30 percent of basestealers in 2009. He's a below-average runner. Though Thole received the bulk of the September playing time at the expense of pending free agent Brian Schneider, he likely will require more seasoning. He doesn't profile well at another position, and even at catcher he projects more as a platoon player or backup than an everyday player.
Thole received limited playing time at St. Lucie to begin 2008, including just three games at catcher during the opening two weeks. But with the team stumbling to a 2-11 start and Sean McCraw struggling at the plate, the door opened for Thole to see more action. He became a Florida State League all-star while hitting .300/.382/.427. Thole caught in high school, but until 2008--when he caught 75 games for St. Lucie--he primarily had played first base as a professional, with just 26 games behind the plate from 2005-07. Working with minor league catching instructor Bob Natal, Thole revamped his catching techniques and did a passable job. At the plate, Thole has a decent swing path and will hit mistakes, but is not projected to hit for much power. His best attribute is his plate discipline, as he gets into hitter's counts and jumps on fastballs. He has a thick lower half and runs poorly, making catcher his best fit. He has plenty of work to do defensively, particularly with his receiving, as he tends to box some pitches. His arm is average but he threw out just 22 percent of basestealers last year. Thole has limited speed. He passed through the Rule 5 draft after being left off the 40-man roster and should report to Double-A in 2009.
Best Tools List
- Rated Best Hitter for Average in the New York Mets in 2010